2022 Ontario Budget consultations are now open for you to share your ideas to help build the budget and reimagine our province's future.
However, the budget proposals are woefully inadequate in climate ambition and the survey format leaves too much room for status quo interpretations so your voice is needed to ensure an intersectional lens of equity & justice is applied.
ClimateFast has developed a public resource to boost the scope of the budget proposals, answering for the all-too-narrow & problematic multiple choice format, making it easy for you to add ideas that have been missed and make a submission robust in perspective.
An example of the all-too-narrow & problematic format is the bundling of public transportation & highways together in Question 2. Without further comment, without further nuance, selecting this option could be read as support for the wildly unnecessary highway projects, Byford Bypass & Highway 413, for which there is already strong cross-provincial opposition.
Another problem with the survey is that the priorities listed are incongruous with current legislation. For example, in Question 3, building more capacity and hiring more healthcare workers certainly seems like a good thing to do EXCEPT that the Ford government introduced & passed Bill 124, a wage suppression legislation that impacts all public sector workers in Ontario, denying pay equity to nurses & care workers. Without repealing Bill 124, our care economy will continue to be undervalued & underfunded. What is the point of adding more beds (political staging & optics) if there is no one to care for Ontarians in those beds?
Lastly, nowhere in the survey is climate action or the environment mentioned. Given our climate realities and the climate ambition at federal and municipal levels of government, it makes no sense that we will not see collaboration from the provincial government to implement climate solutions to improve equity & reduce emissions.
Have your say on the future of Ontario by Feb 21!
Photo credit: @climatefastaction