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OPSEU calling out Premier Ford after announcement of major health unit cuts

The vast majority of Ontarians oppose the province's plan to make cuts to public health and slash millions in funding.
Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford addresses a rally at the Finlandia Club in Thunder Bay on Tuesday, April 10, 2018. (Matt Vis,

A poll commissioned by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union says 80 percent of the province is opposed to cuts made by the Ford government, that will affect local health units.

OPSEU President Warren 'Smokey' Thomas says the cuts will be widespread, and he told 1310 NEWS Wednesday, the cuts are non-stop.

"Every day of the week, there's another one or two or three announcements on more cuts, and they're significant," said Thomas.

The union head explained that Ottawa is starting to feel the effects.

"The autism services at CHEO, they've issued layoff notices," said Thomas. "They're laying off pretty much the whole program."

Thomas explained that there were better ways for Doug Ford to balance the budget. 

Instead of issuing $3-billion in cuts to public services, OPSEU thinks the government should consider making some structural changes to different management levels. Thomas estimated that there are 60,000 too many managers in the province, and that a change would have been better received by the province because "frankly, nobody can figure out what they do."

What makes it worse, he said, is that the Premier handed out corporate tax cuts to the tune of $3.8-billion. 

The decision to make these cuts has seen his approval plummet below 30 per cent, and has reached the levels of his predecessor.

"He's down in Kathleen Wynne territory, and quicker than she got there," said Thomas.

The union president added that he would be happy to take a meeting with the Premier at any time because he would "rather see him get it right."

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