Jobs, Economy and Environment

O’Toole’s dangerous economics risks cuts to health care and services people rely on

August 31, 2021

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole began his day threatening Canadians with a return to spending cuts, putting health care and other vital public services at risk.

“Erin O’Toole is now scaremongering about debt and deficits – a page right out of the classic Conservative playbook. This always leads to healthcare cuts, longer wait times, and fewer nurses and doctors,” said Bruske. “The fact is, Conservatives Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Brian Pallister all broke their promises and cut health care when elected. It’s clear O’Toole plans to be just another Conservative cutter.”

O’Toole went further, making the contradictory and unfounded claim that spending on emergency help for people threatens our social safety net. Today’s inflation is the result of pent-up consumer demand and supply disruptions, not a consequence of investing in people. In fact, stimulus spending during the last fiscal crisis did not lead to inflation.

“Retreating from needed support programs and reducing investments in the care economy won’t help rebuild our social safety net and ensure a strong recovery, it puts them at greater risk,” said Bruske. “Either Mr. O’Toole doesn’t understand basic economics or he’s trying to fool Canadians into giving him a mandate to cut help for people.”

With the lowest net debt in the G7 and gaping holes in our care system, Canada’s unions have been calling on the parties to put working families at the centre of their recovery plans. Where lost jobs are replaced with better ones; Canada’s social safety is disaster-proofed through investments in housing and childcare; and public health care is strengthened through pharmacare and removing profit from long-term care.

“Last time O’Toole and the Conservatives were in power they put Canada on a path of tax cuts to the wealthy and austerity for everyone else. This meant a decade of health cuts, slow economic growth, and rising inequality,” concluded Bruske. “Erin O’Toole’s priorities are all wrong. His dangerous economics would leave working families behind, just when they need help the most.”

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