Premier Doug Ford brought out the big guns in his cabinet for an announcement about new medical school spots as he visited Mc Master Thursday. The Premier was flanked by Treasurer Bethlenfalvy and Health Minister Sylvia Jones along with local MPPs Lumsden and Skelly as he announced the province would fund another 100 undergraduate medical school seats and another 154 postgraduate medical training seats beginning in 2024, both now prioritized for Ontario residents. The price tag will be $33 million.
“Too many Ontario students are having to go abroad for medical school because they can’t find residency spots here in their home province while international students learn here then leave,” said Premier Doug Ford. “That’s why we’re expanding the number of undergraduate and graduate medical school spots and putting qualified Ontario students at the front of the line. We’re training the next generation of Ontario doctors right here in Ontario to stay here and care for Ontario communities.”
The premier also fielded a couple of local questions, rejecting a reporter’s suggestion that the province was not providing enough funding for homelessness and addictions. Finance Minister Bethlenfalvy said the province had increased mental health and addiction support by 5 percent in his budget last week. He also said the government had added $202 Million in homeless prevention over the previous year’s allotment.
The premier showed little sympathy for the City of Toronto which, in the John Tory budget, had counted on $1 billion in senior government support, only to be shut out completely by both the federal and Ontario budgets. “You have to be prudent fiscal managers,” he said. “You can’t go out there and say ‘give me more revenue tools’…”I didn’t hear anything about driving efficiencies, driving standardization, focusing on lean practices—they can’t just go there and think the taxpayer is going to constantly bail them out.” His comments appeared to be a tough=love message to all municipalities in Ontario that the days of massive COVID bailouts were over, and municipalities need to do a re-think on how they approach their financial operations.
Leave a comment