Local Press Releases

Wynne fiscal mismanagement plus empty promises equal cuts at Grand River Hospital

January 13, 2016

Kitchener – Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris says Ontario can do better to ensure health care is government’s priority after continued wasted spending has taken funding from where it’s most-needed and led to cuts throughout the province – the latest impacting locally with the elimination of 68 positions at Grand River Hospital.

“The Premier was elected on a promise of no cuts to front line health care workers and yet again and again we see the complete opposite with Grand River being the latest to announce cuts – 30 vacant positions being slashed and layoff notices given to 38 others, including nurses,” said Harris. “Make no mistake, these cuts fall at the feet of this Wynne Liberal government and its fiscal mismanagement – unfortunately when billions are wasted on gas plants and non-existent e-Health registries, it means less for the priorities we all share.”

Harris pointed out that despite the provincial government receiving $652 million through the Canada Health Transfer in 2015, only a portion of those funds were put into Ontario’s health care system, with $54 million being funneled from that transfer to another Ministry. He noted that given the funding shell game, and ongoing fiscal mismanagement, he’s not surprised by Grand River Hospital CEO Malcolm Maxwell’s contention to staff that, “given the provinces financial situation I do not forsee this situation becoming any easier.”

“This is a government looking anywhere and everywhere to help them pay for a decade-plus of Liberal spending sprees that have left us with less for our health care priorities,” Harris indicated. “Years of wasted spending adds up, and directly subtracts from funding where it’s needed most – the Grand River cuts are just the latest example.”

The local hospital cuts follow a series of government decisions that have seen:

–          Five consecutive years of frozen hospital budgets despite a growing population.

–          Physicians services slashed three times last year for a total of $815 million

–          $50 million cut from physiotherapy for seniors.

–          50 residency positions cut when 800,000 Ontarians are without a family doctor