LONDON – The city’s three MPPs for London say London has been hit especially hard by the government’s budget, released Thursday. MPPs Teresa Armstrong (London-Fanshawe), Terence Kernaghan (London North Centre) and Peggy Sattler (London West) said while they were expecting deep cuts across Ontario, Londoners will really feel the squeeze.
“The budget will hurt children, students and low-income people,” said Armstrong. “Clearly, the government doesn't think it’s their job to help people. This budget ignores what actually matters to Londoners and their families — like funding for health care and education — and instead shows that the government's priorities are booze and re-branding.
"Despite London being the centre of health care in southwestern Ontario, the budget does nothing to address the city’s chronically underfunded and overcrowded hospitals."
Kernaghan said health care wait times in London are staggering.
“Government funding for hospitals doesn’t come close to keeping up with inflation, let alone with London’s projected population growth. Now, wait-times for hip and knee surgeries will remain out of control, and patients will continue to wait in hospital hallways to receive urgent care, a result of years of government underfunding."
Sattler says the government's choice to ignore mental health and the opioid crisis will hurt Londoners, and jam up emergency rooms and hospitals even more.
"The budget ignores London’s urgent mental health and opioid crisis completely," said Sattler. "Our children are waiting so long for mental health help in London, they're in crisis before they get it. Families are being torn apart by addiction, with few places to turn for help.
"This budget dims the light at the end of the tunnel for those families. Ontarians, and Londoners, deserve a government that puts what matters to them and their families first. People in London deserve more, not less, from their government.”