Peggy Sattler MPP, London West

Government of Ontario
 

Newsletter Highlights

 

Dear Neighbour,


Doug Ford's first budget, released on April 11, will mean real, deep cuts to health care, education and community services. Far from protecting what matters most to Ontarians, the budget removes $1B from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, with no details as to how this cruel cut will affect children and the most vulnerable. Any new spending for health care and education falls far below the rate of inflation, which means cuts to services and lay-offs of frontline staff.

Clearly, the Ford government doesn’t understand that its job is to help people. The budget ignores what actually matters to Londoners and their families — like funding for health care and education — and shows that the priorities of the Ford Conservatives are booze and re-branding.

Health care
With the daily reality of crowded ERs, loved ones being treated in hospital hallways, long waits for hip and knee surgeries, lack of mental health supports, and the deadly opioid crisis, Londoners might have expected a significant investment in health care. Instead, the budget increases health care spending by just 1.6%, which is nowhere near the 4.5% that the Financial Accountability Officer says is needed to keep pace with an aging population and population growth. In addition, Ontario 35 public health units will be reduced to just 10, a dangerous move that could undermine local efforts to protect public health and keep people out of already-overcrowded hospitals. Our health system is already hanging on by a thread, and Londoners deserve better. This budget will do nothing to fix hallway health care.  

Education
Many school boards across Ontario are sounding the alarm about layoffs of teachers, educational assistants (EAs), and other education workers. Even before the budget was released, the Thames Valley District School Board laid off 35 EAs and eliminated 100 special education learning coordinator positions, even as 500 new students with autism are expected to enter Thames Valley schools in September and close to 2000 London-area children are waiting for in-school physiotherapy, speech language pathology, and occupational therapy. The Ford government is cutting the budget at the expense of children, who will be packed into larger classes, with fewer supports to help them learn. Forcing secondary school students to complete four credits online in order to graduate could put more students at risk.    

Post-Secondary Education
The budget cuts post-secondary funding by $700 million, including deep cuts to student aid. I've heard from hundreds of Western and Fanshawe students concerned about whether they can afford to complete their studies. And many high school students worry how they will pay to go to post-secondary at all. It shouldn't be this difficult for young people to get ahead. This budget is going to add to the huge burden of debt that many students already take on to get a post-secondary education. 

Children, Community and Social Services
The budget provided no information about the Ontario Autism Program or other vital supports for children or adults with disabilities, like Passport funding and Special Services At Home (SSAH). 

Poverty
While beer, wine and alcohol are mentioned more than 50 times in Doug Ford's budget, there is not a single mention of poverty. Instead, cuts to legal aid will hurt the most impoverished among us. And cuts to affordable housing will push even more Ontarians into precarious situations as rents continue to rise out of reach. The budget will do nothing to assist the 4,780 Londoners who were waiting for social housing as of 2018.

This budget is short-sighted, with little to no investment in the crucial systems that make our province prosperous for all of us. These cuts will make life harder for London's most vulnerable, and cost us more over the long-term. Ontarians deserve a government that shares their priorities. 

Sincere thanks to all those who support me in the fight against the Doug Ford cuts. I was out last weekend collecting signatures on a petition to stop the cuts to education, and was heartened by how many people from Hyde Park, Oakridge and Byron stopped by to sign.

I look forward to hearing your views at my Post-Budget Townhall on Tuesday April 23!  If you can't attend, please keep in touch to let me know how the cuts are affecting you and your family.

Sincerely,


 
 

Post-Budget Townhall

Please join me at a Post-Budget Townhall Meeting to share your questions, comments and concerns about the Ford government’s 2019 Budget and what it means for you and your family.

All are welcome!

Byron Southwood Public School
1379 Lola St
Room 106 - Library Resource Centre


The school can be reached by LTC routes 5 and 17A.

RSVP
 

Leading Women Leading Girls

On Thursday, April 25, please join MPP Teresa Armstrong, MPP Terence Kernaghan and me to celebrate the leadership and impact of London women and girls, as we present the 2019 Leading Women, Leading Girls, Building Communities awards.

All are welcome to attend this free event, which will include light refreshments and musical performances.

Thursday, April 25
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Goodwill Centre
255 Horton Street East


Goodwill can be reached by LTC routes 13, 01, 06, 03, 02, 07, 20 and 15.

RSVP
 

At Queen's Park

Kudos to the City of London for voting unanimously to make the safety of women and girls a strategic focus. Thank you to Anova and London Abused Women's Centre for their leadership and years of advocacy. So proud of my community!
This government wants to talk about math, so here’s my math question: When you ADD 500 students with special learning needs to TVDSB classrooms, and TAKE AWAY 35 educational assistants to help them, will students in London be better off or worse off?
Kids Country Club is the only Southwestern Ontario respite care facility for medically fragile and/or technology-dependent children but has had no increase to base funding for 12 years. As of April 1, the facility is being forced to close its doors for 29 days, which will result in 2,000 fewer hours of respite care for families.
 

In the Media


Here are the 5 times London was mentioned in the Ontario budget, Global London, April 12, 2019

Mandatory teacher math tests, the Ford government is making changes and politicizing licence plates, Craig Needles Show, April 5, 2019

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath hosts health care town hall in London, Global News, April 4, 2019
 

Around London

Many thanks to students from Saunders, Oakridge and Banting for inviting me to their April 4 walkouts against the Ford government's cuts to education. Here with students from Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School. 
Congratulations to the MSA Council on raising $1600 for global clean water projects.
With autism advocate and parent Jessica Ashton and her son Ashton
London Homeless Coalition's powerful visual representation of the number of Londoners without housing 
Celebrating Lillian Campbell's 100th birthday at PeopleCare OakCrossing with her son Jay Campbell
Great to see so many Londoners packing our Health Care Townhall with Andrea Horwath 
With two first-time attendees at my March Neighbourhood Townhall
With London Environment Network's Skylar Franke talking Green Economy London
Proud to welcome London lawyer Sam Puchala to Queen's Park
 

New and Noteworthy

  • Contribute to the Ford government's consultation on class size. Send your submission to EDULABFINANCE@ontario.ca by May 31. More information here.
  • The City of London wants to hear from you about Homelessness Prevention and Housing! There are 10 surveys and 10 in-person consultations. You can also host your own community conversation. More information here.
  • Applications for Pride London Festival Endowment Fund grants are now open! The application deadline is April 26, with information on how to apply here. Grants of up to $1,000 are available for activities that:
    • build inclusion
    • promote education
    • develop awareness of issues around sexual & gender diversity within the LGBT2Q+ communities and/or broader population
 
Community Office
240 Commissioners Rd W, Unit 106
London, ON N6J 1Y1
Tel: 519-657-3120
Queen's Park Office
Room 359, Main Legislative Building, Queen's Park
Toronto, ON M7A 1A5
Tel: 416-325-6908
Email: psattler-qp@ndp.on.ca
 
Copyright © 2019 Peggy Sattler, All rights reserved. 

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Sent on April 18, 2019