Public health cuts put families at risk: Gelinas

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SUDBURY – NDP official opposition health critic France Gelinas says that Premier Doug Ford and his government’s deep cuts to public health will leave families served by Public Health Sudbury and Districts (PHSD) less protected, less safe and less healthy.

The government is cutting funding for public health units throughout the province by billions of dollars and cutting the number of local health units from 35 to 10. That means PHSD could face a massive funding cut or be eliminated altogether.

“Public Health Sudbury and Districts is vital to the health and safety of our families,” said Ms. Gelinas in a release. “Infectious disease control, overdose protection, restaurant inspections and ensuring our drinking water is safe—Sudbury and Districts Public Health delivers all that and more, and we shouldn’t have to cancel any of those things.”

“This cut will have devastating consequences for families in Sudbury and Manitoulin and, ultimately, puts their lives at risk. There is nothing more important, but Doug Ford wants to siphon that money away for his own priorities,” continued Ms. Gelinas.

Premier Ford’s first provincial budget, released April 11, makes massive cuts to services like public health units, even though the Ford government is spending more, overall, than the Kathleen Wynne Liberals did, pointed out Ms. Gelinas.

“Only Doug Ford could spend more than Kathleen Wynne while still cutting health care, letting thousands of teachers go and squeezing all the things that matter to families. Ford just doesn’t believe it’s his job to protect people,” said Ms. Gelinas.

“New Democrats will push back against Mr. Ford’s callous cuts to keep families safe and ensure Northern residents have a say in Northern health care,” said Ms. Gelinas. “We learned from events like SARS and the Walkerton water tragedy that public health units are an integral part of keeping us safe and keeping us healthy, every day. We can’t afford to let Doug Ford take that away from us.”

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