Lisa Gretzky MPP, for Windsor West

Government of Ontario

Windsor-Essex left out of Ford’s first budget

Published on April 12, 2019

WINDSOR-ESSEX — NDP MPPs Lisa Gretzky (Windsor West), Percy Hatfield (Windsor-Tecumseh) and Taras Natyshak (Essex), said the Windsor region was hit especially hard by the Ford budget, not only with cuts to the services that people count on, but with a refusal to do anything to help protect and promote auto jobs in the region, or expand hospital capacity in the region.

“Across Ontario, we were expecting Ford’s budget to have deep cuts, but the reality is more callous than we anticipated, both province-wide and here in Windsor-Essex,” Gretzky said. “Clearly, the Ford Conservatives don’t think it’s their job to help people. Instead, they are taking critical services and support away from working people, children, students and those living in rural and Northern Ontario.

“The cruel, $1-billion cut to social services will hurt people in our community living with a disability and increase the already high number of people experiencing poverty and homelessness,” she added.

Things that matter to people in Windsor-Essex were left out of the budget, Hatfield said. “Like the rest of Ontario, our schools and hospitals will be squeezed, with budget allocations that don’t match the rate of inflation.

“But on top of that, the budget made zero mention of funding for Windsor Regional Hospital, which, as we can see from last week’s slew of layoffs, is in dire need of investment from the province. Also, there’s nothing in this budget to boost Windsor’s auto sector, or protect local auto workers from even more jobs being put at risk."

As for critical infrastructure in his riding of Essex, Natyshak noted that Ford’s budget neglected to include funding to complete the widening of Highway 3 between Windsor and Leamington.

“People in my riding have been waiting for the widening of this highway for years, hearing nothing but empty promises from the Liberals,” Natyshak said. “Now, the Ford Conservatives are dragging us further backwards, with no plan to protect our residents’ safety by widening this dangerous stretch of highway. How many more accidents does there need to be before the Ford government stops neglecting the people of Essex?”