Terence Kernaghan MPP, London North Centre

Government of Ontario

Demand for social services skyrocketing across Southwestern Ontario; organizations struggle to keep up

Published on January 16, 2024

CHATHAM – Official Opposition MPPs were in Chatham today to hear from local organizations as they brought forward their need for funding and resources before the 2024 budget committee. 

We’re hearing more firsthand accounts of what happens when this government withholds resources from community organizations,” said MPP Terence Kernaghan (London North Centre), Official Opposition critic for Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade. “Demand is skyrocketing, and workers are giving it their all, but the Conservative government is callously hoarding resources and making them to do more with even less.” 

This government is sitting on a $5.4 billion contingency fund that could be used right now to help these local organizations who serve our communities.  

I’m calling on this government to listen to the local organizations who have come here today and understand the benefits that come when we work together,” said MPP Lisa Gretzky (Windsor West). “Workers in health and social services deserve fair wages and fair work to keep up with demand as people struggle with an affordability crisis – and the resources are available right now to make that happen”. 

The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs is travelling across Ontario for the next month to hear from organizations and make decisions on what will be included in the 2024 budget. Hearings will continue in London tomorrow, and in Cambridge this Thursday. 


  • The Canadian Union of Public Employees reported experiencing the “worst recruitment and retention crisis” in years because of the continuing impacts of Bill 124 on workers 

  • IRIS Residential Inns and Services spoke about their wish to provide more vulnerable persons with supportive housing – but a lack of funding is keeping their waitlists long 

  • The Canadian Mental Health Association (Lambton Kent) is seeking an increase of funding to stabilize programs, and expand their services for affordable housing support 

  • Windsor-Essex Community Health Centre spoke about nurse staffing shortages and the difficulty in retaining nurses due to low wages