May 6, 2019 10:21 pm

John Tory, Doug Ford spar over public health cuts

WATCH ABOVE: The City of Toronto is painting a dramatic picture of what a $1 Billion cut in provincial funding to Toronto Public Health will look like. Matthew Bingley reports. (April 24)

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TORONTO – Tensions between Ontario’s premier and Toronto’s mayor escalated Monday as the two sparred over the province’s recent cuts to public health services and child care funding.

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Mayor John Tory questioned why the government was trying to reduce spending in those areas while also contemplating breaking a contract with big brewers – and taking on stiff financial penalties – to expand where beer and wine could be sold in the province.

In a speech challenging the government’s priorities, Tory described the cuts as damaging and said they will affect services like children’s breakfast programs, vaccination programs, and water quality testing.

READ MORE: Ontario government to slash funding to Toronto Public Health, officials say

Premier Doug Ford responded with a statement telling Tory – a former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader – that he should not wade into provincial issues he is “neither involved in or understands.”

Ontario recently notified municipal public health units that it will reduce its cost-sharing levels from 100 per cent or 75 per cent in some cases, to 60 to 70 per cent for some municipalities, and 50-50 for Toronto.

The city also said last week that provincial child care cuts could mean a loss of more than 6,000 childcare spots in Toronto.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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