Ontario residents must have this image of the Ontario premier skipping along the Macdonald-Cartier Freeway (Highway 401) throwing loonies and toonies left and right. That is his answer to every problem he hears about. He says he will throw money at it. He tells us he is generous with the taxpayers’ money.
But the question is: Will he really spend it?
This subject was posed very recently in Babel-on-the-Bay.com. It was when the Ontario budget office informed us that our hospitals had been unable to spend a billion dollars in the past year that had been available for them to spend. This was at a time of stretching the limits of intensive care, of closing our hospitals to visitors and volunteers, of closing hospital kitchens and settling for poorer quality catered foods, of telling those caring for patients that they would not get raises but needed to work longer shifts. At a time when money was available, our hospitals were not getting the money needed to do their job.
But that does not stop the supposed free-spending ways of our premier.
Why just the other day, Mr. Ford said he was shocked to learn that there might be a backlog in surgeries and other medical procedures because of the demands for care of COVID-19 patients. This is based on the information from the hospitals that they turned away about 25 per cent of necessary but not time sensitive procedures. What the hospitals do not know and are concerned about is the number of people who did not come to the hospitals’ emergency facilities during the peak of the pandemic. The drop off was significant but there is no way to put a figure on an expected surge in patients as the pandemic subsides.
The first $300 million was in the spring budget anyway, so nobody seems impressed with Mr. Ford’s additional $24 million.
But is this real money or just more of Mr. Ford’s phantom money?
All we can advise Ontario voters is they should try to stay out of hospitals until the hospitals have returned to putting some decent food on patient trays.
And there should be a nice chilled apple on every tray in honour of Johnny Appleseed, who, it is reputed, visited Ontario in the early 1800s with his seeds, so that Canadians could also enjoy apples.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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