Chronic underinvestment, skyrocketing needs leave Ottawa’s social services on the brink
OTTAWA — Official Opposition NDP MPPs Joel Harden (Ottawa Centre) and Chandra Pasma (Ottawa West—Nepean) heard from people on ODSP and numerous local organizations during pre-budget meetings today, who revealed that years of government underfunding has left them depleted of resources to support themselves and their communities with essential services.
“Throughout the last two days of consultations, every sector we heard from told us how people are struggling because of this government's choices, "said Pasma. "From families grappling with homelessness due to a lack of real rent control to the heart-wrenching stories of those on ODSP, the undeniable truth is that people simply cannot afford to live in this province. Instead of offering solutions, Conservative members today pointed fingers and blamed the city of Ottawa for provincial issues. These consultations are designed for solutions, not deflection. Ford could save the day today, but a lack of accountability and real investment has set this province decades behind."
“Today, we heard tough stories on homelessness, housing, mental health and dire poverty. We heard about our health and education systems being under massive strain due to cutbacks made by the Ford Conservatives at Queen’s Park”, said Harden. “But the good news for Ontario is that we have solutions and heard them today here in Ottawa. We can immediately end waitlists for mental health services, seniors support, disability programs, affordable housing and help our beleaguered hospitals and schools.
Through investments, we can have a better Ontario, and Ottawa residents have many good ideas to get there."
Marit Stiles and the Ontario NDP continue to call for an immediate doubling of ODSP & OW – as a start – and for the Conservatives to prioritize public services instead of their pet projects, including a private luxury spa in downtown Toronto.