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John Tory, Doug Ford spar over public health cuts

Click to play video 'Toronto and province at odds over size of public health cuts' Toronto and province at odds over size of 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) – Apr 24, 2019

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.

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.”

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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.