Niagara Region community and labour leaders decry harmful impact of Ford’s policies

NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario, Feb. 02, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Niagara Region community and labour leaders joined the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) at a media conference on Friday to decry the harmful impacts of Doug Ford’s government, in advance of the Ontario PC Party’s 2024 policy convention in Niagara Falls this weekend.

“Corruption, closures, and cost-of-living crisis – welcome to Doug Ford’s Ontario in 2024,” said Laura Walton, President of the OFL. “This is the sad reality facing millions of working-class people across Ontario, and we can blame the last five years of Ford’s failed policies.”

Walton explained how Ford’s policies have left the government reeling in scandal, while Ontarians struggle with rising costs and deteriorating public services.

“Five years after Ford’s election in 2018, life in Ontario is more difficult and more expensive for workers and their families,” added Walton. “And we have no reason to think that this weekend’s policy convention will change any of it. Indeed, we have every reason to think it will make things worse.”

Heather Kelley, Chairperson of the Save Fort Erie Hospital SOS campaign, addressed the devastating impact of Ford’s policies on health care in the region: “Rural health care matters, it stands between life and death. That’s the message Ford needs to hear when he shows up in Niagara Falls this weekend, and he needs to know the anger that all of us are feeling about this attack on our health care.”

Hamilton-Wentworth high school teacher, Allison Cillis, a member of OSSTF District 21, called on Ford to end his short-changing of public education: “Ford can find money for Staples and Walmart, but not to properly fund our public education system. Students, families, and education workers end up paying the price. Enough is enough.”

John Di Nino, President of ATU Canada, echoed the call for significant re-investment in public services: “Ford needs to strengthen our public services, not sell them off to the highest bidder. Privatization means workers pay out of pocket for services they rely on, while private corporations make a profit off our backs. It has to stop.”

JP Hornick, President of OPSEU/SEFPO, tied Ford’s record to the affordability crisis: “These harmful policies are no accident, they are deliberate choices that benefit Ford’s friends, while Ontario workers struggle to find a family doctor, to get the medical care they need, to find affordable housing, and just to pay the bills. It’s time to hold this government to account.”

Local ONDP MPPs Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls, Fort Erie & Niagara-on-the-Lake) and Jennie Stevens (St. Catharines) were in attendance at the media conference and expressed their support for the community campaign to defend the region’s health care.

In addition to Friday’s media conference, the OFL will host a rally on Saturday, February 3 at 12:00 p.m. outside the Niagara Falls Convention Centre (map) under the same banner: “Corruption, closures & cost-of-living crisis: Welcome to Doug Ford’s Ontario 2024.”

The Ontario Federation of Labour represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. It is the largest provincial labour federation in Canada. Visit and follow @OFLabour on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

For more information, please contact:

Jenny Sellathurai
Interim Director of Communications
Ontario Federation of Labour | 416-894-3456