Transcript: The Cost of Ontario's Funding Cuts | May 07, 2019

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and checked blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "The cost of Ontario's municipal funding cuts. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says WHAT THE FORD
GOVERNMENT CALLS PUBLIC HEALTH
MODERNIZATION OTHERS CALL CUTS.
SAME WITH REDUCED FUNDING FOR
CHILD CARE SUBSIDIES, LIBRARY
SERVICES AND FLOOD MANAGEMENT.
THE PROVINCE'S SPRING BUDGET
INTRODUCED MAJOR - AND
UNEXPECTED - CHANGES TO THE
AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT WILL FLOW
TO MUNICIPALITIES IN ONTARIO.
IT'S NOT SITTING WELL WITH
MAYORS AND MANY OTHERS.
HERE TO EXPLORE HOW THEY MIGHT
GRAPPLE WITH THE NEW FUNDING
LEVELS, WE WELCOME CAM GUTHRIE.
HE'S THE MAYOR OF GUELPH AND
CHAIR OF LUMCO: THE LARGE URBAN
MAYORS CAUCUS OF ONTARIO...

Cam is in his late forties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair. He's wearing a dark blue suit, white shirt, and gray plaid tie.

Steve continues JOE CRESSY IS HERE, THE TORONTO
CITY COUNCILLOR AND CHAIR OF
THAT CITY'S BOARD OF HEALTH...

Joe is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short blond hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt and burgundy tie.

Steve continues AND TWO PLAYERS FROM THE MIKE
HARRIS YEARS: FORMER CABINET
MINISTER JOHN SNOBELEN.
HE'S ALSO A COLUMNIST FOR THE
"TORONTO SUN."

John is in his seventies, clean-shaven and bald. He's wearing a gray suit, blue shirt, and striped burgundy tie.

Steve continues AND DEB HUTTON, WHO WAS SENIOR
ADVISOR TO THE PREMIER.
SHE'S NOW A COLUMNIST FOR "QP
BRIEFING."

Deb is in her late forties, with short blond hair. She's wearing a gray blazer and a black blouse.

Steve continues AND WE'RE DELIGHTED TO WELCOME
EVERYBODY BACK TO TVO.
MR. SNOBELEN, YOU HAVEN'T BEEN
HERE IN A LONG TIME.

John says IT'S BEEN A WHILE.
YOU'VE DONE WONDERS WITH IT.

Steve says IT'S GOOD TO SEE YOU
AGAIN.
JOE CRESSY, WANT TO GO TO YOU
FIRST.
WE JUST HEARD FROM ROBIN MARTIN,
THE PARLIAMENTARY ASSISTANT TOTHE
MINISTER OF HEALTH WHO SUGGESTED
IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS THAT YOU
ARE EXAGGERATING THE NEGATIVE
CONSEQUENCES OF THESE CUTS.
YOUR RESPONSE TO THAT?

The caption changes to "Joe Cressy. Toronto Councillor."

Joe says WELL, ON THE THURSDAY
AFTERNOON BEFORE THE EASTER LONG
WEEKEND, WITHOUT ANY NOTICE,
WITHOUT ANY WARNING AND WITHOUT
ANY CONSULTATION, THIS PROVINCE
ANNOUNCED THAT THEY WERE CUTTING
PUBLIC HEALTH RIGHT ACROSS
ONTARIO, AND DISPROPORTIONATELY
SO IN TORONTO TO THE TUNE OF 1
BILLION Dollars ACCORDING TO OUR CHIEF
FINANCIAL OFFICER.

Steve says HOW DO YOU COME UP
WITH THAT BILLION DOLLARS FIGURE?

Joe says IT'S VERY SIMPLE.
SO PRIOR TO SARS AND WALKERTON,
THE PROVINCE USED TO FUND PUBLIC
HEALTH AT 50 percent BY THE PROVINCE,
50 FOR THE MUNICIPALITIES.
IN THE WAKE OF SARS AND
WALKERTON, BASED ON AN
INDISPUTABLE BODY OF EVIDENCE
AND EXPERT PANELS, THAT COST
SHARE WAS CHANGED.
IN SOME CASES 100 percent FROM THE
PROVINCE.
IN SOME CASES 75.
WELL, THEY ARE REDUCING THAT
NOW.
WE'RE GOING BACK TO THE PRE-SARS
AND WALKERTON PHASE.
FOR TORONTO IT'S 50-50.
SO WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
WELL, THE FRAMS WE RUN IN
TORONTO, VACCINATION PROGRAMS
FOR KIDS, 20,000 KIDS IN SCHOOLS
EVERY YEAR, STUDENT BREAKFAST
PROGRAMS FOR 212,000 STUDENTS,
DISEASE CONTROL, FOR GOODNESS'
SAKES, ALL OF THOSE PROGRAMS ARE
NOW AT RISK BECAUSE OF A
RETROACTIVE CUT TO PUBLIC HEALTH
UNITS IN TORONTO, BUT IN EVERY
COMMUNITY IN THIS PROVINCE.

Steve says LET US... I'M GOING TO
ASK OUR DIRECTOR SHELDON OSMOND
TO BRING UP THIS GRAPHIC HERE.
FOR THOSE LISTENING ON PODCAST
I'LL READ IT OUT.
HERE'S A LIST OF SOME OF THOSE
THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Government cutbacks."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
THEY ARE GOING, THE PROVINCE IS,
FROM 35 LOCAL HEALTH UNITS
ACROSS ONTARIO TO 10 WITH AN
ANTICIPATED 200 MILLION DOLLAR
REDUCTION IN FUNDING OVER THE
NEXT TWO YEARS.
THEY WILL BE ENDING OHIP
COVERAGE FOR TRAVEL OUTSIDE
CANADA.
THEY ARE CANCELLING AN INCREASE
IN THE GAS TAX REVENUE TO
MUNICIPALITIES.
THERE'S A CUT OF 50 percent IN FUNDING
FOR THE ONTARIO LIBRARY SERVICE.
REDUCING PAYMENTS TO FLOOD
MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS BY HALF.
AND CANCELLING A 50 MILLION DOLLAR
FUND THAT HAD HELPED CHILD CARE
CENTRES DEFRAY COSTS TO PARENTS.
OKAY, I'M GOING TO MAKE THE
MAYOR WAIT UNTIL THE END HERE.
I'M GOING TO GET EVERYBODY
ELSE'S WISDOM FIRST AND THEN YOU
GET THE LAST WORD ON THAT.
IS IT YOUR VIEW, DEB HUTTON, YOU
FIRST, IS IT YOUR VIEW THESE
CUTS WILL HAVE NO CONSEQUENCES
AT ALL?

The caption changes to "Deb Hutton. QP Briefing."
Then, it changes again to "Downloading by stealth."

Deb says I THINK WHERE JOE AND I AGREE
IS ON THE IN YOUR CUT OR WHAT HE
CONSIDERS TO BE RETROACTIVE
CUTS.
I DO BELIEVE IT'S THE PROVINCE
CONTINUES DOWN THAT PATH THAT WE
WILL SEE SOME UNINTENDED
CONSEQUENCES BECAUSE I THINK
IT'S DIFFICULT TO MAKE CHANGES
THAT I THINK CAN BE MADE IF YOU
HAVE TO DO IT IN HOUSE... SORRY,
IN YEAR, GIVEN THAT THE BUDGET'S
ALREADY BEEN PASSED.
THAT BEING SAID, WE HAVE A
DOUBLE DIGIT DEFICIT IN THIS
PROVINCE.
WE HAVE TO TACKLE THAT OR WE END
UP IN A FISCAL AND ECONOMIC
SITUATION THAT'S NOT PALATABLE
IF WE DON'T.

Steve says WHEN YOU SAY DOUBLE
DIGIT, I THINK YOU MEAN A NINE
DIGIT.
YOU'RE TALKING NORTH OF 10
BILLION DOLLARS.

Deb says ABSOLUTELY, YES.
I WAS A LITTLE CONFUSED WHEN YOU
LOOKED AT ME.
AND I ALSO BELIEVE, BY THE WAY,
NOT JUST THAT WE HAVE TO TACKLE
THE DEFICIT, FOR OBVIOUS
REASONS, BUT WE ACTUALLY HAVE
SOME PROGRAM DEFICITS WITHIN
HEALTH AND EDUCATION, THAT IF WE
DON'T TAKE SOME OF THE NON-CORE
EXPENSES AWAY, WE'RE NOT GOING
TO BE ABLE TO KEEP PACE WITH THE
NEEDS THAT WE HAVE TODAY, EVEN
AFTER MANY YEARS OF LIBERAL
OVERSPENDING.
YOU WALK INTO ANY SCHOOL TODAY
AND ANY HOSPITAL AND WE'RE NOT
AT THE LEVEL OF SERVICE THAT WE
SHOULD BE AT GIVEN THE AMOUNT OF
MONEY THAT WE SPENT.

Steve says JOHN SNOBELEN, THIS
WAS AN EXERCISE THAT YOU
PERFORMED BACK IN THE DAY, GOING
BACK 25 YEARS NOW, DURING THE
MIKE HARRIS YEARS.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO CUT SPENDING
THIS MUCH WITHOUT RAMIFICATIONS?

The caption changes to "John Snobelen. Former PC Cabinet Minister."

John says NO, THERE ARE GOING TO BE
RAMIFICATIONS ANY TIME YOU
WITHDRAW FUNDING OR YOU REDUCE
THE RATE OF GROWTH OF FUNDING,
WHICH IS REALLY WHAT WE'RE
TALKING ABOUT.
BUT THE REAL THREAT ON SOCIAL
SERVICES IN THE PROVINCE OF
ONTARIO IS THE GROWING, THE
FASTEST-GROWING EXPENDITURE IN
THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT'S
LINE, AND THAT'S INTEREST ON
DEBT.
AND EVERY YEAR YOU PUT OFF
CHANGING, MAKING THOSE BUDGET
CHANGES, EVERY MOMENT THAT YOU
PUT OFF, YOU EXASPERATE THAT
GROWING PART OF THE BUDGET
CALLED INTEREST PAYMENTS, AND
THAT REALLY THREATENS HEALTH
CARE, REALLY THREATENS
EDUCATION, REALLY THREATENS
SOCIAL SERVICES.
SO SOMEONE NEEDS TO DO SOMETHING
AND THEY NEED TO DO IT NOW.

Steve says YOU ARE HERE NOT JUST
REPRESENTING YOUR CITY, BUT
YOU'RE HERE REPRESENTING LARGE
URBAN AGGLOMERATIONS ALL OVER
THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO AND THE
MAYORS THAT REPRESENT THOSE
CITIES.
UP UNTIL NOW, YOUR GROUP HAS
KIND OF HELD ITS FIRE AGAINST
THE FORD GOVERNMENT, BUT NOT
NOW.
HOW COME YOU'VE COME OUT NOW
AGAINST?

The caption changes to "Cam Guthrie. Mayor of Guelph."

Cam says WELL, MANY MAYORS WERE
REACHING OUT TO ME AS THE CHAIR
OF THE LUMCO, AND THAT'S 28
MAYORS THAT HAVE A POPULATION OF
100,000 OR MORE.
IT REPRESENTS 67 percent OF THE
PROVINCE POPULATION, AND I WAS
GETTING CALLS FROM SEVERAL OF
THE MEMBERS SAYING, YOU KNOW,
WE'RE EXPERIENCING THESE CUTS
THAT ARE IN YEAR THAT WERE AFTER
WE'VE ALREADY MANY CITIES HAVE
ALREADY PASSED THEIR BUDGETS.
WE WERE NEVER CONSULTED.
WE WERE NEVER GIVEN THE HEADS
UP, AND THAT FRUSTRATED A LOT OF
MAYORS BECAUSE OUR LETTER THAT
WE SENT LAST WEEK WAS QUITE
CLEAR, WE UNDERSTAND THE DEBT,
WE UNDERSTAND THE DEFICIT.
WE UNDERSTAND THAT THINGS ARE
GOING TO NEED TO BE CHANGED, BUT
THE MAYORS ACROSS THE PROVINCE
ARE UNITED IN OUR VOICE IN
SAYING WE WANT TO WORK WITH YOU
BUT YOU'RE NOT... YOU KNOW,
YOU'RE NOT ON THAT SIDE OF THE
TABLE AT ALL.
AND SO WE REALLY ARE REACHING
OUT TO THE GOVERNMENT TO SAY
YOU'VE GOT A WILLING PARTNER, A
RESPECTFUL, AUTHENTIC WILLING
PARTNER ON THIS SIDE OF THE
TABLE.
WE WANT TO PULL THE CHAIR UP FOR
YOU ON THIS SIDE.
GIVE US AT LEAST A HEADS UP AND
SOME BREATHING ROOM AND SOME
RUNWAY TO UNDERSTAND THESE TYPES
OF CUTS AND CHANGES THAT YOU'RE
MAKING, AND THEY CAN CALL IT
MODERNIZATION OR THEY CAN CALL
IT SOMETHING ELSE, BUT REALLY AT
THE END OF THE DAY THEY ARE
STRAIGHT UP CUTS, AND AT THE END
OF THE DAY IT'S OUR CITIZENS
THAT WE REPRESENT AS THE MAYORS
THAT ARE COMING TO US THAT ARE
THE EXACT SAME CITIZENS THAT THE
PREMIER AND THAT GOVERNMENT ALSO
REPRESENTS.
IT'S FOR ALL ONTARIANS THAT WE
NEED TO BE ABLE TO FIND THOSE
PROGRAMS AND SERVICES THAT ARE
DELINEATED BY THEM.

Steve says HOW SURPRISED WERE YOU
THAT THEY MADE THIS ANNOUNCEMENT
IN THE MIDDLE OF A BUDGET YEAR
WHERE YOU HAVE ALREADY DONE YOUR
BOOKKEEPING, SO TO SPEAK.

Cam says VERY, AND WHAT'S FRUSTRATING
TO ME AND OTHERS IS THE MP,S,
MANY OF THEM THERE, COME FROM A
MUNICIPAL BACKGROUND.
SOME OF THEM WERE COUNCILLORS OR
FORMER MAYORS.
THEY KNOW STRAIGHT UP THAT WE
HAVE A DIFFERENT FISCAL YEAR,
AND WE'VE MADE THAT KNOWN TO
THEM EVEN BEFORE THE BUDGET, AND
INSTEAD OF MAKING... YOU KNOW,
RECOGNIZING THOSE DIFFERENCES
BETWEEN THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT
AND THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT,
THEY STILL WENT AHEAD WITH
THESE.
WE FELT THAT IT WAS DONE IN SORT
OF A STEALTH WAY.
THEY ARE DOING IT THROUGH...

Steve says YEAH, YOU CALLED IT
DOWNLOADING BY STEALTH.

The caption changes to "Cam Guthrie. LUMCO."

Cam says YEAH, IT'S NOT COMING
DIRECTLY TO MUNICIPALITIES, TO
MAYORS AND TO COUNCILS AND
SAYING THIS IS WHAT'S GOING ON.
IT'S GOING THROUGH AGENCIES,
GOING THROUGH PUBLIC HEALTH, OR
GOING THROUGH CONSERVATION
AUTHORITIES OR GOING THROUGH
SOCIAL SERVICE PROVIDERS.
THAT HAS A DIRECT RELATIONSHIP
WITH MUNICIPALITIES, ESPECIALLY
ON A FUNDING LEVEL.
AND AT THE END OF THE DAY, THOSE
CUTS AND SERVICE CHANGES THAT
ARE HAPPENING THERE DIRECTLY
FLOW RIGHT BACK UP TO THE
MUNICIPALITY, AND WE'RE LEFT TO
TRY TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO DEAL
WITH THAT.

Steve says LET ME FOLLOW UP WITH
JOE CRESSY HERE, BUZZ YOU
GARNERED QUITE A NUMBER OF
HEADLINES LAST WEEK WHEN YOU
CALLED A NEWS CONFERENCE WITH
THE MEDICAL OFFICER OF HEALTH
FOR THE CITY OF TORONTO, AND YOU
PUT IT RIGHT OUT THERE, JOE.
YOU SAID BLUNTLY: PEOPLE ARE
GOING TO DIE BECAUSE OF THESE
CUTBACKS.

Joe says MM-HM.

Steve says ARE YOU STANDING BY
THAT TODAY?

Joe says I FIRMLY BELIEVE, STEVE, THAT
YOU SHOULD ONLY YELL FIRE IF
THERE IS A FIRE.
AND WHEN YOU CUT PUBLIC HEALTH,
ACCORDING TO THE ONTARIO'S
DOCTOR, PAST DOCTOR, DR. DAVID
MOWAT, AND SO OUR CHIEF MEDICAL
OF HEALTH, WHEN YOU CUT PUBLIC
HEALTH PEOPLE WILL DIE.
IT'S NOT RHETORIC.
IT'S SIMPLY A FACT, AND HERE'S
WHY.
WHEN PUBLIC HEALTH WORKS, IT'S
INVISIBLE.
THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A HEADLINE
OF CHILD DOESN'T GET MENINGITIS
OR E. COLI OUTBREAK AVOIDED.
WHEN PUBLIC HEALTH WORKS, IT
PREVENTS DISEASES.
AND WHAT IS SO UNFORTUNATE HERE,
WHEN WE TALK ABOUT DEBT AND THE
NEED TO TACKLE IT, IS THAT WHEN
YOU INVEST IN PUBLIC HEALTH,
THAT IS THE FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE
PLACE TO INVEST, AND IT ACTUALLY
REDUCES HEALTH CARE COSTS.
FOR EVERY DOLLAR THAT YOU INVEST
IN VACCINATION, YOU SAVE 16 IN
HEALTH CARE COSTS.
SOMEBODY DOESN'T GET SICK AND
END UP IN THE HOSPITAL ROOM.
FOR EVERY DOLLAR YOU INVEST IN
TOBACCO PREVENTION, YOU SAVE 20
IN HEALTH CARE COSTS.
SOMEONE DOESN'T GET LUNG CANCER.
SO FOR A GOVERNMENT THAT HAS
STATED THEY WISH TO END HALLWAY
HEALTH CARE, BY CUTTING PUBLIC
HEALTH, BY CUTTING PREVENTATIVE
HEALTH CARE, YOU ARE INCREASING
HALLWAY HEALTH CARE.
SO IT IS SHORTSIGHTED AND, YES,
IT IS DANGEROUS.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Steve says JOHN SNOBELEN,
PENNY-WISE POUND FOOLISH?

John says ONLY IF YOU MADE THE ABSOLUTE
WORST POSSIBLE DECISIONS ON HOW
YOU WOULD INVEST THE MONEY THAT
THE PROVINCE IS TRANSFERRING.
ONLY IF YOU WOULD LOOK AT ALL OF
THE THINGS THAT ARE DONE AND
SAY, WELL, LET'S QUIT
VACCINATING KIDS.
I THINK THAT'S A VACUOUS
ARGUMENT.
THE QUESTION IS: HOW DO YOU MAKE
THE BEST USE OF THE FUNDS THAT
ARE AVAILABLE?
AND IF YOU NEVER CHANGE
ANYTHING, HOW DO YOU GET OUT OF
THIS VICIOUS CYCLE OF
OVERSPENDING, INCREASING DEBT
AND THOSE VICIOUS INTEREST
PAYMENTS ON THAT ENORMOUS DEBT?
THAT IS A SERIOUS THREAT, AND WE
HAVE TO HAVE SERIOUS RESPONSES
TO GET A HOLD OF IT.

Steve says DEB HUTTON?

Deb says ONE OF THE PROBLEMS I HAVE
WITH JOE'S ARGUMENT IS THAT I
JUST... I'LL BE REALLY SURPRISED
IF ANYONE COULD CONVINCE ME THAT
THERE ISN'T ROOM TO MAKE
REDUCTIONS IN NON-CORE SERVICES
ANYWHERE, LET ALONE IN PUBLIC
HEALTH.
I JUST DON'T BUY THAT.
I THINK THAT THERE HAS BEEN IN
PARTICULAR IN AREAS LIKE PUBLIC
HEALTH THE MANDATE CREED, WHERE
THE CITY... AVOIDS AND THEY FILL
IT.
AND THAT MAY BE IN THE BEST
INTERESTS OF TORONTONIANS IN THE
SHORT TERM, BUT OVERALL, SINCE
WE'RE ALL JUST ONE TAXPAYER,
IT'S NOT IN THE BEST INTEREST OF
OUR LONG-TERM... BOTH AS I SAID
EARLIER FISCAL AND ECONOMIC
HEALTH.
SO I THINK IT WOULD BE... AND
ROBIN SPOKE TO YOU ABOUT THIS IN
HER INTERVIEW.
I THINK IT WOULD SERVE EVERYONE
WELL OUTSIDE OF THIS FISCAL YEAR
TO ACTUALLY SIT DOWN AND SAY:
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
AND YOU'RE DOING THIS?
AND MAYBE EVEN THE FEDS ARE
DOING THIS?
BECAUSE THAT IS THE CASE IN
PUBLIC HEALTH IN MANY, MANY
AREAS.

Steve says THAT'S HALF THE ARGUMENT.
BUT I WONDER IF THE OTHER HALF
OF THE ARGUMENT IS: YOU'RE JUST
EXPECTING JOE CRESSY AND CAM
GUTHRIE AND ALL OF THEIR
COLLEAGUES TO RAISE THEIR OWN
PROPERTY TAXES BY TENS OF
MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO FILL THE
SHORTFALL.
YOUR BUDGETS ARE SECURED IN THAT
WAY, AND THEY TAKE THE HEAT FOR
RAISING TAXES ON THEIR TAXPAYERS.

The caption changes to "Deb Hutton, @millandmaltmom."

deb says AGAIN, I THINK... I'M NOT
GOING TO DEFEND THE...
REDUCTIONS AT ALL, BUT I THINK
GOING FORWARD THE PROVINCE HAS
ALREADY PUT OUT THE NOTION THAT
THEY ARE GOING TO REDUCE THE
NUMBER OF... OR MODERNIZE THE
NUMBER OF UNITS THAT ARE OUT
THERE.
I DON'T THINK THAT'S A BAD
THING.
LESS ADMINISTRATION, LESS
BUREAUCRACY IS A POSITIVE.
IT CAN'T BE DONE IN THE SHORT
TERM, BUT IT CAN BE DONE IN THE
VERY MEDIUM TERM WITHOUT A
DOUBT, AND I THINK THAT'S VERY
SMART.
I CALL IT MANDATE CREEP, BUT
THERE ARE AREAS THAT THE
PROVINCE SHOULD BE DOING... I
LOOK, FOR EXAMPLE, ON TORONTO
PUBLIC HEALTH.
THEY DO ALL THE STUDIES AND THAT
SORT OF THING.
ONE THEY DID A FEW YEARS AGO WAS
ON ARTIFICIAL TURF.
WELL, THE ARTIFICIAL TURF IN
TORONTO ISN'T PARTICULARLY
DIFFERENT THAN THE ARTIFICIAL
TURF IN MAYOR GUTHRIE'S AREA.
THAT'S NOT SOMETHING THAT THE
LOCAL HEALTH UNITS HAVE TO DO.
AND WHILE THAT'S NOT A BIG
SAVING, IT'S AN EXAMPLE OF THE
KINDS OF THINGS THAT WE NEED TO
SORT OUT AND SEPARATE.

Steve says WELL, LET'S DO ANOTHER
EXAMPLE.
YOU HEARD ROBIN MARTIN IN THE
PREVIOUS INTERVIEW SAY THAT THE
TORONTO BOARD OF HEALTH DID A
STUDY ON WHETHER OR NOT ENERGY
DRINKS ARE GOOD OR BAD FOR KIDS
AND, SURPRISE SURPRISE, THEY
DISCOVERED THEY WERE BAD AND
THEY SUGGESTED MAYBE THEY OUGHT
TO BE BANNED, WHICH IS PROBABLY
A POWER THAT YOU DON'T HAVE
ANYWAY.
WAS THAT A WASTE OF MONEY?

The caption changes to "Joe Cressy, @joe_cressy."

Joe says SO HERE'S WHAT'S HAPPENED
HERE, IS THE PROVINCE HAS
ANNOUNCED A RETROACTIVE CUT TO
PUBLIC HEALTH UNITS, DESPITE AN
OVERWHELMING BODY OF EVIDENCE
SUGGESTING OTHERWISE.
THEY'VE DONE THIS RIGHT ACROSS
THE PROVINCE, AND WE'VE SEEN 28
MAYORS OF THE 28 LARGEST CITIES
IN THIS PROVINCE COME OUT
AGAINST IT.
WE'VE SEEN 12 BOARDS OF HEALTH
FROM HALIBURTON TO THUNDER BAY
TO SUDBURY TO TORONTO AND SARNIA
COME OUT AGAINST IT, AND AFTER
THE FACT, THEY'VE GONE LOOKING
AND CHERRY PICKING FOR EXAMPLES
TO TRY TO JUSTIFY A CUT THAT'S
NOT SITTING WELL.
SO LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT TORONTO
PUBLIC HEALTH'S BUDGET.
91 percent OF OUR BUDGET IS SPENT ON
CORE PROGRAM DELIVERY.
SO WHAT YOU REFERRED TO AS
EFFICIENCIES, THAT'S FRONT-LINE
HEALTH CARE THAT YOU'RE CUTTING.
AND SO THAT'S 91 percent OF OUR BUDGET.
9 percent OF OUR BUDGET GOES TOWARDS
FINANCE, ADMINISTRATION,
EVALUATION AND PUBLIC POLICY.
SO SOME OF OUR BUDGET GOES
TOWARDS ENSURING THAT IN HEAT
WAVES PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN
APARTMENT BUILDINGS AND DON'T
HAVE AIR CONDITIONING, THAT WE
DO RESEARCH TO FIND OUT HOW CAN
WE DELIVER COOLING SPACES BETTER
TO THEM SO THEY DON'T DIE OF
HEAT STROKE.
SOME OF OUR RESEARCH GOES
TOWARDS LOOKING AT THE SAFETY OF
OUR STREETS SO THAT WE CAN
DESIGN THEM BETTER.
IS THAT A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF
OUR BUDGET?
ABSOLUTELY.
IT'S ABOUT A MILLION DOLLARS,
BUT WHAT THE PROVINCE HAS
ANNOUNCED IS ON A GO-FORWARD
BASIS, A 107 MILLION DOLLAR CUT TO
PUBLIC HEALTH.
SO THEY MIGHT TRY TO SPIN YOU
ALONG IN A TALKING POINT ABOUT
ASTROTURF, BUT THE REALITY IS,
WHEN YOU CUT 107 MILLION DOLLARS, THERE
AREN'T ENOUGH STUDIES TO CUT.
YOU'RE CUTTING VACCINATION AN
STUDENT BREAKFAST PROGRAMS, AND
THAT'S SIMPLY A FACT.

Steve says I WANT TO READ
SOMETHING HERE, AND YOUR WORSHIP
I'LL GET YOU TO COMMENT ON IT
FIRST.
THIS IS FROM MATT GURNEY WHO
WROTE IT FOR OUR tvo.org
WEBSITE.
HE WROTE...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Too much hyperbole?" The quote reads "THERE SHOULDN'T BE ANY REAL ARGUMENT ABOUT THE URGENT IMPERATIVE TO FEED HUNGRY CHILDREN. BUT ACCEPTING THAT GOAL DOES NOT THEN MEAN WE SHOULD SLAVISHLY ADHERE TO A STATUS QUO FUNDING FORMULA THAT MIGHT MAKE SENSE BUT ALSO MIGHT NOT. AND CLAIMS THAT THE PROVINCE'S MOVE IS AKIN TO FLINGING FRESH FRUIT OFF A CHILD'S PLATE ON TO AN UNSWEPT
FLOOR LIKE A SCENE OUT OF A DICKENS NOVEL ONLY CONTRIBUTES TO THE FURTHER DUMBING DOWN OF THE POLITICAL CULTURE IN THIS CITY AND PROVINCE, WHICH IS PLENTY DUMB enough ALREADY."
Quoted from Matt Gurney, tvo.org. April 24, 2019.

Steve says DO YOU WANT TO RESPOND TO THAT?

The caption changes to "Cam Guthrie, @CamGuthrie."
Then, it changes again to "Responsible or reckless?"

Cam says SURE.
I'M NOT GOING TO SPECIFICALLY GO
INTO THE TORONTO PUBLIC HEALTH
PORTION BECAUSE AS THE CHAIR I'M
TRYING TO REPRESENT 28 DIFFERENT
MAYORS, BUT THERE IS A COMMON
THEME THERE, AND I'M GOING TO
COME BACK TO THE FACT THAT WE'VE
HAD NO REAL CONVERSATIONS WITH
THEM IN TRYING TO BE A GOOD
PARTNER WITH THE PROVINCIAL
GOVERNMENT TO ACTUALLY SEE HOW
THESE CHANGES CAN BE IMPLEMENTED
IN THE PROVINCE, BECAUSE THERE'S
NOT ONE MAYOR THAT SAYS YOU
DON'T HAVE A DEBT PROBLEM OR YOU
DON'T HAVE A DEFICIT PROBLEM.
BUT IT'S GIVING US THAT RUNWAY.
AS I SAID EARLIER, TO SAY, YOU
KNOW WHAT, THIS IS WHY IN THE
LETTER FROM THE LUMCO MAYORS WE
SAID GIVE US UNTIL NEXT YEAR,
GIVE US THAT EIGHT-MONTH RUNWAY
TO WORK FOR YOU.

Steve says YOU'VE ASKED FOR THAT.
WHAT'S THE RESPONSE?

Cam says THEY SAID NO.

Steve says IT'S A FIRM NO.

Cam says YES.

Steve says THEY WILL NOT REVISIT
IT, AND EVEN DEB HUTTON SAID
THAT WAS PROBABLY NOT A GOOD
IDEA FOR THEM TO DO.

Cam says YES, WELL THANK YOU VERY
MUCH.

Deb says THAT'S ALL I'LL SAY.

Cam says STOP KICKING ME UNDER THE
TABLE.
[Laughter]
I DO THINK THAT THE RHETORIC CAN
GO ON BOTH SIDES.
THE EXAMPLES CAN GO ON BOTH
SIDES HERE, MAYBE BETWEEN
TORONTO AND THE PROVINCIAL
GOVERNMENT, BUT FROM THE THEME
OF THE MAYORS, IT'S THAT WE ARE
A WILLING PARTNER TO FIGURE OUT
WHERE WE CAN MAKE CHANGES THAT
ADDRESS SOME OF THESE SITUATIONS
THAT THE PROVINCE IS FACING IN A
WAY THAT DOESN'T FLICK FRUIT OFF
A PLATE AND GIVES US THAT RUNWAY
THAT WE CAN DO THAT.
JUST ONE MORE QUICK THING.
YOU KNOW, WHEN ROBIN'S INTERVIEW
THAT SHE HAD HERE, YOU KNOW, SHE
SAID A FEW TIMES THAT THE MONEY
THAT'S TRYING TO BE SAVED IS NOT
GOING TO THE DEBT AND IS NOT
GOING TO THE DEFICIT.
SHE SAID IT'S GOING BACK INTO
HEALTH CARE, WHICH IS FINE, BUT
IN ONE WAY YOU CAN'T SAY WE'RE
TRYING TO ATTACK THIS HUGE DEBT
AND HUGE DEFICIT PROBLEM AND
THEN IN ANOTHER SENTENCE SAY,
OH, BUT WE'RE ACTUALLY JUST
TAKING THAT MONEY THAT WE'RE
TRYING TO SAVE ELSEWHERE AND PUT
IT RIGHT BACK IN SO IT'S NOT
GOING TO THE DEBT OR DEFICIT.

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live."

Steve says LET ME FOLLOW UP WITH
JOHN SNOBELEN ON THAT.
IN SOME RESPECTS WE'VE SEEN THIS
MOVIE BEFORE.
WHEN YOU CAME INTO POWER IN 1995
WITH THE COMMON SENSE
REVOLUTION, BIG DEFICIT, BIG
DEBT, NEED TO CUT BACK ON
SPENDING IN ORDER TO BRING THOSE
THINGS BACK INTO LINE.
YOU DIDN'T WANT TO RAISE TAXES
TO HELP RAISE THE REVENUE.
YOU WANTED TO TAKE A DIFFERENT
APPROACH, AND WE'RE SEEING THAT
MOVIE AGAIN RIGHT NOW.
THE GOVERNMENT IN ITS WISDOM HAS
NOT CHOSEN TO MEET THE SHORTFALL
BY RAISING TAXES.
IT'S LOOKING FOR SAVINGS
EFFICIENCIES, CUTS, CALL THEM
WHAT YOU WILL.
BUT PRESUMABLY THAT ALSO MEANS
YOU GOT TO CUT THE RIGHT THING.
ARE YOU SATISFIED THAT THE RIGHT
CUTS ARE BEING IMPOSED IN THIS
SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES?

John says WELL, I THINK I WOULD AGREE
WITH THOSE WHO WOULD SUGGEST
THAT IT'S A BIG CHALLENGE FOR
THE GOVERNMENT.
THE BUDGET THAT THE GOVERNMENT
SET OUT WAS... TAKES US TO
BALANCE IN FIVE YEARS, AND
THERE'S A LOT OF RISK IN THOSE
FIVE YEARS.
I MEAN, THAT ASSUMES THAT THE
ECONOMY STILL DOES WELL.
THAT ASSUMES THAT VERY MATURE
GROWTH MARKET CONTINUES TO GROW.

Steve says AND NO RECESSION.

John says AND NO RECESSION.
SO I THINK... IT'S AS AGGRESSIVE
AS THE GOVERNMENT FELT IT COULD
GO SO THAT IT COULD MAKE THE
RIGHT KINDS OF CHOICES.
NOW WILL YOU MAKE ALL OF THE
RIGHT CHOICES?
NO ONE EVER DOES.
BUT CAN YOU MAKE MOST OF THEM?
SURE.
BUT MOST OF THE PROVINCIAL
SPENDING IS TRANSFERRED TO
MUNICIPALITIES, UNIVERSITIES,
SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS.
AND SO THOSE ARE THE PARTNERS
THAT YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO
WORK WITH TO MAKE BUDGETS
BALANCE AND TO TAKE ON THIS
ENORMOUS DEBT PROBLEM THAT THE
PROVINCE HAS.
MY EXPERIENCE IS EVERY TIME YOU
REDUCE SPENDING IN ANY OF THOSE
CATEGORIES, YOU'RE GOING TO GET
A LOT OF BLOWBACK, AND IT
DOESN'T REALLY MATTER HOW MUCH
YOU REDUCE THAT SPENDING.
THAT'S BEEN MY EXPERIENCE.

Steve says BUT PRESUMABLY... I
KNOW ALL CUTS ARE TOUGH AND
SOMEBODY'S OX IS GOING TO GET
GORED, BUT THERE'S... YOU KNOW,
THERE'S SMARTER CUTS AND THEN
THERE ARE STUPIDER CUTS.
WHICH ARE THESE?

Deb says WELL, I DON'T KNOW THAT THERE
ARE SMARTER AND STUPIDER CUTS.
AS JOHN SAID, WE DO AT THE
PROVINCIAL LEVEL HAVE TO DEPEND
ON OUR TRANSFER PARTNERS FOR A
LOT OF THE REDUCTIONS BECAUSE
THAT'S THE BIG... THAT
GOVERNMENT HAS TO SPEND ON.
I WAS CRITICAL OF THE BUDGET IN
THAT I THOUGHT IT DIDN'T GO FAR
ENOUGH.

Steve says THIS IS THE FEDELI BUDGET?

Deb says CORRECT.
BECAUSE I BELIEVE IF NOT IN YEAR
ONE, THEN WHEN?
BECAUSE AS JOHN SAYS, NO ONE
LIKES CUTS.
AND WHILE BOTH THE MAYOR AND
COUNCILLOR CRESSY ARE
RESPONSIBLE IN TERMS OF BEING
PARTNERS AND I TAKE THEM AT
THEIR WORD, THE TRUTH IS THERE
ARE A NUMBER OF YOUR COLLEAGUES,
I GUARANTEE, AND MAYBE
MR. CRESSY HIMSELF, WHO DO NOT
WANT ANY CUTS IMPOSED ON THE
MUNICIPALITY.
AND IT MAY NOT BE MAYOR GUTHRIE,
BUT THERE ARE MANY WHO WOULD NOT
ACCEPT WILLINGLY REDUCTIONS, AND
I JUST THINK THEY ARE NECESSARY.
THEY'VE GOT TO BE DONE.
ONE OF THE WAYS THAT YOU DO IT
IS YOU TRY TO SORT OUT, IF WE DO
HAVE DUPLICATION.
THAT'S NOT JUST A EFFICIENCIES.
THAT'S NOT JUST SORT OF
TIGHTENING THE BELT.
THAT IS SAYING MAYBE YOU NEED TO
GET OUT OF THIS BUSINESS AND
WE'LL TAKE IT OVER.
I THINK THERE'S A TREMENDOUS
AMOUNT OF ROOM TO DO THAT
BECAUSE, AS I SAID, I THINK ALL
THREE LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT TEND
TO SORT OF FILL WHAT THEY SEE AS
VOIDS IN SPENDING AREAS WITHOUT
REALLY SAYING, HEY, THERE'S JUST
ONE TAXPAYER AND MAYBE WE SHOULD
FIGURE OUT WHO SHOULD PROVIDE
THIS SERVICE BEST AND WHO CAN DO
IT MOST EFFICIENTLY.

Steve says WELL, TO THAT END, JOE
CRESSY, LET ME GET YOU TO
RESPOND TO ANOTHER POINT THAT
ROBIN MARTIN MADE, WHICH WAS IN
HER VIEW THE NUMBER IS 33
MILLION DOLLARS.
THAT'S THE SHORTFALL.
I KNOW YOU GUYS SAY IT'S LARGER,
BUT WHATEVER IT IS, IT'S TENS OF
MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, WHICH SHE
SAYS ON A BUDGET NORTH OF 13
BILLION DOLLARS IS ACTUALLY LIKE 0.2 percent OF
THE BUDGET AND SHOULDN'T BE THAT
TOUGH TO FIND.
YOUR RESPONSE TO THAT?

Joe says IT'S AN INCREDIBLY
DISINGENUOUS STATEMENT.
SO THE CITY OF TORONTO HAS A
BUDGET OF 13 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR,
AND THAT BUDGET INCLUDES
TRANSFER PAYMENTS COMING FROM
THE PROVINCE AND THE FEDS, WHICH
WE CAN'T REDUCE.
IT INCLUDES A BILLION DOLLARS TOWARDS OUR TORONTO POLICE,
WHICH I WOULD BE VERY SURPRISED
IF PREMIER FORD IS TELLING US TO
CUT THE TORONTO POLICE SERVICE
BUDGET.
OUR TORONTO PUBLIC HEALTH BUDGET
IS 191 MILLION DOLLARS, WHICH THEY ARE
CUTTING.
NOW ONTARIO IS THE ONLY PROVINCE
IN CANADA THAT DOESN'T FUND
PUBLIC HEALTH 100 percent OF THE COST.
THE ONLY ONE IN CANADA.
AND SO NOT ONLY ARE WE GOING
CONTRARY TO BEST PRACTICES AND
EVIDENCE ACROSS THE COUNTRY IN
TERMS OF THE DELIVERY OF HEALTH
AND PUBLIC HEALTH, WE'RE GOING
BACK TO THE PRE-SARS AND
PRE-WALKERTON PHASE HERE.
PRIOR TO SARS AND WALKERTON, THE
CURRENT PROPOSAL OF MAKING
CITIES LIKE TORONTO PAY 50 percent WAS
THE NORM.
WE LEARNED FROM THAT.
SO LET ME TELL YOU WHAT
DR. DAVID MOWAT, THE FORMER
CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER OF HEALTH
OF ONTARIO, HE WAS AROUND AFTER
SARS, AND HE WAS AROUND AGAIN IN
2015.
HE DESCRIBED THIS CYCLE.
GOVERNMENTS CUT FUNDING TO
PUBLIC HEALTH BECAUSE WHEN IT'S
SUCCESSFUL IT'S INVISIBLE.
THEN WE SEE AN INCREASE IN
COMMUNICABLE DISEASES.
WE SEE A PUBLIC OUTCRY DEMANDING
ACTION, AND WE SEE A RESTORATION
OF FUNDING.
WHEN YOU INVEST IN PUBLIC
HEALTH, YOU PREVENT DISEASES AND
FUTURE HEALTH CARE COSTS.
AND SO I THINK THE GOVERNMENT
HERE TRIED TO SLIP A QUIET ONE
THROUGH THINKING NO ONE CARED
ABOUT PUBLIC HEALTH BECAUSE VERY
FEW PEOPLE CAN DESCRIBE IT.
BUT WHAT THEY'RE REALIZING IS
THAT WHETHER YOU'RE IN
HALIBURTON OR SAULT STE. MARIE
OR TORONTO OR GUELPH, THAT
ACROSS THIS PROVINCE MAYORS,
CITY COUNCILLORS, BOARDS OF
HEALTH, MY GOODNESS, THE
DOCTOR'S ASSOCIATION, NURSES
ASSOCIATION AND PEDIATRIC
ASSOCIATION HAVE COME OUT.
IT TAKES A LOT TO PISS OFF ALL
THREE OF THOSE, BUT THEY HAVE.
AND THAT'S BECAUSE THIS WAS A
SHORT-SIGHTED CUT.

Steve says I'D LIKE TO KNOW WHAT
YOU'RE GOING TO DO IN GUELPH
ABOUT THIS.
YOU'VE GOT A SHORTFALL NOW.
ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE UP THE
SHORTFALL BY SPENDING CUTS
ELSEWHERE?
BY RAISING TAXES ON YOUR
PROPERTY TAXPAYERS?
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?

Cam says WELL, MANY OF THE MAYORS,
INCLUDING MYSELF, YOU HAVE
BASICALLY A FEW CHOICES IN FRONT
OF YOU.
YOU EITHER LOOK TO GO BACK TO
THE TAXPAYER, EITHER IN
INCREASED TAXES OR FEES.
YOU EITHER LOOK AT CUTS THAT YOU
HAVE TO MAKE WITHIN YOUR ALREADY
APPROVED BUDGETS, BY THE WAY.
WE'VE ALREADY DISCUSSED THAT, TO
TRY TO FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU
AREN'T GOING TO THEN PROVIDE AS
SERVICES TO YOUR CITIZENS.
YOU'RE GOING TO ACTUALLY HAVE TO
LOOK AT MAYBE YOUR CAPITAL WORKS
PROGRAMS, NOT ONLY FOR THIS YEAR
BUT OUT OVER THE NEXT MAYBE 9 OR
10 YEARS IN THE FORECAST TO SAY,
WELL, WE'RE NOT GOING TO HAVE TO
DO THESE CAPITAL WORKS, WHICH IS
IMPORTANT INFRASTRUCTURE WORK
THAT EVERY CITY IS BEGGING FOR.

Steve says WE'RE NOT GOING TO PAVE THESE
ROADS OR FIX THESE BRIDGES OR BUSES.

Cam says THAT'S RIGHT.
AND AS I SAID AS WELL, YOU KNOW,
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT... I'M A
BELIEVER THAT GOVERNMENT DOESN'T
HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING MYSELF,
PERSONALLY, AND THERE IS, AGAIN,
WITH THIS LACK OF RUNWAY OR LACK
OF A HEADS UP, YOU KNOW, THERE'S
EVEN THE NON-PROFIT SECTORS THAT
CITIES CAN PARTNER WITH TO SAY,
YOU KNOW, COULD YOU TAKE OVER
THIS, COULD YOU LOOK AT THAT?
BUT WITH NO RUNWAY, NO HEADS UP,
NO GIVING THAT OPPORTUNITY TO
HAVE THOSE CONVERSATIONS WITH
OTHER GROUPS AND OTHER
STAKEHOLDERS AND CITIES, IT'S
GIVEN US NO TIME TO DO THAT, NO
TIME, NO CAPACITY ON OUR END OR
THEIR END TO LOOK AT A
POTENTIALLY TAKING OVER MAYBE
SOME OTHER THINGS THAT THEY CAN
DO RIGHT NOW.

Steve says I WANT TO ASK YOU...

Cam says THERE'S LOTS OF CHOICES AHEAD
OF US.

Steve says I WANT TO ASK YOU A
REALLY UNFAIR QUESTION.
I KNOW HOW YOU VOTED IN THE LAST
ONTARIO PROVINCIAL ELECTION.

John says YOU CAN BE FAIRLY CERTAIN.

Steve says I THINK I KNOW.

He looks at Cam and says HOW DID YOU VOTE IN THE LAST ELECTION LAST JUNE?

Cam says IS THIS WHEN YOU GO TO
COMMERCIAL BREAK?

Steve says NO, WE DON'T HAVE
COMMERCIALS HERE ON TVO.

Cam says THAT'S A PERSONAL THING THAT
I AM GOING TO KEEP TO MYSELF AS
THE MAYOR.
I REPRESENT EVERYTHING SINGLE PERSON.
I'M THE MAYOR FOR EVERYBODY, AND
I'M GOING TO KEEP THAT AS A PERSONAL...

Steve says WERE YOU UNHAPPY WITH
THE RESULTS OF THE LAST ELECTION?

Cam says I WASN'T UNHAPPY PERSONALLY.
I'M TALKING VERY PERSONALLY NOW
AS MYSELF BECAUSE WE DEFINITELY
NEEDED A CHANGE, ESPECIALLY WITH
THE FISCAL ISSUES THAT WERE LEFT
BY THE LIBERAL GOVERNMENT.

Steve says OKAY, SO I'M GOING TO
INFER FROM THAT THEN THAT YOU
PROBABLY DIDN'T VOTE FOR
CRESSY'S PARTY.
I'M GOING TO INFER THAT YOU WERE
CONTENT TO SEE THE PROGRESSIVE
CONSERVATIVES COME IN, AND WHAT
I'M GETTING AT HERE IS DO YOU
FEEL BETRAYED HERE BY A
GOVERNMENT THAT YOU WERE PRETTY
SUPPORTIVE OF FOR THE FIRST 10
AND A HALF MONTHS THAT IT WAS IN OFFICE?

Cam says I HAD HIGH HOPES FOR THEM IN
REGARDS TO TACKLING THE
BUDGET... SORRY, THE DEFICIT,
TACKLING THE DEBT RIGHT AWAY,
BUT IT IS THE MANNER IN WHICH
IT'S HAPPENING, AND WE... IN THE
LETTER FROM THE LUMCO MAYORS, IT
DID SAY, YOU KNOW, WE APPLAUD
THE GOVERNMENT FOR ALSO HAVING
AN ABILITY TO LISTEN.
BUT THE MAYORS ALSO WONDER WHY
DOES IT TAKE AN OUTCRY?
AND SO WE HAVE EXAMPLES LIKE
AUTISM FUNDING, THE PLANNING
CHANGES UNDER BILL 66.
WHAT WE JUST SAW TODAY AS
ANNOUNCED WITH WE'RE GOING TO
NOT DO PLANTING OF THE TREES.
OH, NOW WE'RE GOING TO DO
PLANTING OF THE TREES.
THERE SEEMS TO BE MANY THINGS
ROLLING OUT FROM THIS GOVERNMENT
THAT REQUIRE AN OUTCRY, EITHER
FROM MAYORS OR ORGANIZATIONS
ACROSS THE PROVINCE TO GET THEM
TO LISTEN.
AND WHAT WE'RE SAYING IS DON'T
GET TO THAT POINT WHERE YOU'RE
LISTENING AFTER AN OUTCRY.
LET'S DO THE TALKING AND
LISTENING BEFOREHAND AND MAKE IT
A LITTLE BIT EASIER FOR EVERYONE.

Steve says I'M GOING TO FOLLOW UP
WITH JOHN SNOBELEN ON THIS ONE.
JOHN TORY DID A RADIO INTERVIEW
LAST WEEK ON CBC METRO MORNING
IN WHICH HE SUGGESTED THE CUTS
ARE BEING IMPOSED ON THE CAPITAL
CITY MORE AGGRESSIVELY THAN ON
OTHER PARTS OF THE PROVINCE.
NOW YOU HAVING FORMALLY
REPRESENTED A RIDING IN
MISSISSAUGA MIGHT NOT MIND THAT.
[Laughter]
BUT DO YOU AGREE WITH HIS CONCLUSION?

The caption changes to "John Snobelen, @JSnobelen."

John says NO, I DON'T THINK SO.
I MEAN, I... THERE'S A LOT OF
POLITICS IN THIS, A LOT OF BACK
AND FORTH, BUT YOU KNOW, TORONTO
IS THE BIG ENGINE.
IT'S ALSO WHERE THE FOREFRONT OF
SOME OF THE SOCIAL CHANGES ARE
GOING TO HAVE TO HAPPEN.
AND THE GOVERNMENT...
GOVERNMENTS REQUIRE THEIR
PARTNERS TO MAKE SMART DECISIONS
TOO.
YOU KNOW, IT CAN'T JUST BE FROM
QUEEN'S PARK.
THE HOSPITALS, THE
MUNICIPALITIES, THE SCHOOLS,
THOSE FOLKS NEED TO MAKE SMART
DECISIONS, AND WE NEED TO SPEND
LESS MONEY.

Steve says OKAY, BUT HAVING SAID
THAT, DEB, IT IS CONSIDERED
CONVENTIONAL WISDOM IN ONTARIO
POLITICS THAT IT'S NEVER A BAD
THING TO PICK ON TORONTO.
BECAUSE YOU GET BROWNY POINTS
FROM THE REST OF THE PROVINCE.
IS THAT SOME OF WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?

Deb says I DON'T THINK THAT THAT'S
ACTUALLY THE CASE HERE, AND I
WOULD... YOU KNOW, IF YOU LOOK
TO THE NEXT ELECTION AND IF
MAYOR TORY WERE TO RUN IN THE
NEXT MUNICIPAL ELECTION, I THINK
HE WOULD BE MORE SUCCESSFUL
POTENTIALLY RUNNING AGAINST DOUG
FORD THAN DOUG FORD WILL BE
RUNNING AGAINST JOHN TORY AND
TORONTO, AS AN EXAMPLE.
I THINK WHAT'S UNFORTUNATE HERE
IS THAT THESE TWO GENTLEMEN
SHOULD ACTUALLY HAVE A VERY
SHARED INTEREST, BECAUSE I
THINK... I MEAN, THEY BOTH COME
FROM TORONTO.
THEY BOTH WERE STEEPED IN
TORONTO POLITICS.

Steve says BOTH LED THE PC PARTY.

Deb says EXACTLY.
LIKE I... I'M DISAPPOINTED AS A
CONSERVATIVE THAT WE'RE IN THE
SITUATION WE'RE IN.
AND I THINK THERE'S BLAME ON
BOTH SIDES, AND I JUST... YOU
KNOW, IF YOU COULD SHAKE THEM
BOTH AND SAY IF TORONTO
SUCCEEDS, PREMIER, SO TOO DO
YOU.
AND I THINK THE MAYOR HAS DONE A
VERY GOOD JOB OF TRYING TO ROLL
WITH THINGS IN THE LAST YEAR AND
IS KIND OF, I GUESS, HIT HIS
WALL AND SO WE'RE SEEING A
DIFFERENT APPROACH.
BUT WE NEED SHOVELS IN THE
GROUND ON TRANSIT.
THAT WILL SERVE BOTH OF THOSE
MEN WELL.
WE NEED A STRONG, GROWING
ECONOMY IN TORONTO.
THAT WILL SERVE BOTH OF THESE
GENTLEMEN WELL.
THEY REALLY SHOULD HAVE A SHARED
INTEREST IN SEEING TORONTO
SUCCEED, AND I HOPE THEY BOTH
COME TO THAT CONCLUSION AND
WE'RE ABLE TO MOVE FORWARD.

Steve says TAKE US INSIDE TORONTO
CITY HALL A LITTLE BIT, IF YOU
WOULD.
APOLOGIES IN A WAY TO EVERYBODY
OUTSIDE THE CAPITAL CITY FOR
ASKING THIS QUESTION, BECAUSE
THEY PROBABLY DON'T CARE AS MUCH
AS YOU DO, BUT DOES TORONTO FEEL
PICKED ON RIGHT NOW BY THIS
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT?

Joe says WELL, LET'S JUST WALK THROUGH
THE FIRST NINE MONTHS OF THIS
GOVERNMENT WITH REGARD TO
TORONTO.
IN NINE MONTHS THIS GOVERNMENT
HAS CUT CITY COUNCIL IN HALF
WITHOUT NOTICE OR CONSULTATION.
THEY HAVE CUT THE GAS TAX AND IN
TURN CUT A BILLION DOLLARS FOR
MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR TO OUR
TRANSIT VEHICLES WITHOUT NOTICE
OR CONSULTATION.
THEY HAVE CUT OUR CHILD CARE
FUNDING BY 85 MILLION DOLLARS AFFECTING
6100 SUBSIDIES FOR LOW-INCOME
PARENTS, WITHOUT CONSULTATION.
AND THEY'VE CUT OUR TORONTO
PUBLIC HEALTH BUDGET BY 1
BILLION DOLLARS OVER 10 YEARS, WITHOUT
CONSULTATION, AND WITH A
COST-SHARE FORMULA THAT IS WORSE
FOR TORONTO THAN ANY OTHER
MUNICIPALITY.
SO JOHN TORY, OUR MAYOR, WHO
I'VE WORKED WITH FOR YEARS, IS A
VERY PRINCIPLED AND REASONED
MAN.
YOU KNOW IT TAKES A LOT TO GET
HIM HOT UNDERNEATH THE COLLAR,
AND WHEN JOHN TORY GOES PUBLIC
AND SAYS THIS PREMIER HAS
LAUNCHED A TARGETED ATTACK ON
OUR CITY, AND I QUOTE THAT, YOU
KNOW THEY HAVE.
BUT MORE THAN THAT, WHAT'S
HAPPENED HERE TO MAYOR GUTHRIE'S
COMMENT ON MAYORS ACROSS THIS
PROVINCE IS THAT THEY MIGHT HAVE
DISPROPORTIONATELY HIT TORONTO,
BUT THEY ARE HITTING EVERY
COMMUNITY IN EVERY CORNER OF
THIS PROVINCE.
WHEN YOU HAVE THE BOARD OF
HEALTH IN HALIBURTON, ONTARIO
AND IN THUNDER BAY AND IN PERTH
COUNTY IN SARNIA AND MAYORS FROM
EVERY CORNER REPRESENTING 67 percent OF
THE POPULATION, I THINK IT'S
TIME TO GIVE YOUR HEAD A SHAKE
AND REALIZE YOU'VE GOT IT WRONG.

Deb says SO HERE'S MY FRUSTRATION WITH THAT.
NONE OF THE MAYORS WERE EVER
GOING TO SAY THANK YOU.
I KNOW WHAT YOU SAID IN YOUR
LETTER, MAYOR GUTHRIE, AND THAT
WE SHOULD ALL BE PART OF THE
SOLUTION WHEN YOU'VE GOT MASSIVE
DEFICITS AND DEBT, BUT IT'S NOT
ACTUALLY THE REALITY AND IT
NEVER HAS BEEN.
EVERY MAYOR IS GOING TO FIGHT,
AND LEGITIMATELY SO.
BUT YOU CAN'T... YOU CANNOT
CONVINCE ME THAT ANYONE WAS
GOING TO SAY THANK YOU, NO
MATTER HOW SMALL OR HOW BIG THE
REDUCTIONS WERE.

Joe says LET ME COME RIGHT BACK ON THAT.
WE'VE HAD, THE MAYORS OF 28
LARGEST CITIES IN THIS PROVINCE,
SPANNING THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM,
COME OUT AND SAY NOT ONLY DO WE
NOT WANT THE CUTS, BUT THE CUTS
YOU'RE CHOOSING ARE THE WRONG
CUTS.
SO YOUR POINT MAY BE MAYORS
DON'T LIKE CUTS, BUT WHEN A
GOVERNMENT GETS IT WRONG, MY
GOODNESS, WHEN YOU YOURSELF ARE
SAYING THEY DID IT WRONG HERE BY
DOING IT IN YEAR, THIS ISN'T
JUST MAYORS.
THIS IS EVERYBODY, INCLUDING
YOURSELF, AND SO I THINK THE
FACT OF THE MATTER HERE IS THE
PROVINCE HAS GOT IT WRONG ON
PUBLIC HEALTH.
THERE IS A WAVE OF OPPOSITION
GROWING, AND JUST LIKE THEY DID
ON AUTISM AND THE GREEN BELT AND
THE TREE PLANTING PROGRAM,
THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE TO REVERSE
COURSE.

Steve says IF YOU WERE ADVISING
THE PREMIER'S OFFICE RIGHT NOW,
WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM... BECAUSE
THEY HAVE REVISITED A COUPLE OF
THINGS, RIGHT?
THEY HAD A POSITION ON AUTISM.
THEN THEY CHANGED IT.
THEY HAD A POSITION ON THE TREE
PLANTING.
THEY CHANGED IT.
MIGHT BE A COUPLE OF OTHERS THAT
I'M FORGETTING RIGHT NOW.
THE GREEN BELT.
DOUG FORD DURING THE CAMPAIGN HE
WOULD LOOK AT DEVELOPMENT IN THE
GREEN BELT.
HE WALKED IT BACK THE VERY NEXT
DAY.
IF YOU WERE ADVISING THEM ON
THIS, WHAT'S THE ADVICE?

The caption changes to "Governing in tough fiscal times."

John says I'VE HAD TO WALK A FEW THINGS
BACK IN MY TIME.
IT JUST HAPPENS, AND SOMETIMES
YOU FACE A DIFFERENT REALITY
THAN YOU FORECAST.
I WOULD SAY THAT TWO THINGS THAT
THE FORD GOVERNMENT HAS TO DO
GOING FORWARD.
ONE OF THEM IS THEY HAVE TO GET
BETTER AT WORKING WITH THEIR
PARTNERS.
I THINK THERE'S SOME...
[INDISCERNIBLE] AND THAT'S PART
OF A GOVERNMENT MATURING AND
GROWING AND UNDERSTANDING THE
ROLE OF ALL THE PLAYERS.
BUT IT HAS TO HOLD FIRM ON THE
VERY MODEST COST REDUCTIONS THAT
THEY FORECAST IN THEIR BUDGET
BECAUSE IT... THEY ARE AT THE
EDGE OF REASONABLE, AND IF THEY
DON'T DELIVER ON THOSE NUMBERS,
IT'S DIRE FOR THE SOCIAL
SERVICES THAT PEOPLE OF ONTARIO
DEPEND ON IN THE LONG TERM.
AND SO THEY NEED TO HOLD TO
THOSE NUMBERS.

Steve says DEB, YOU WILL NO DOUBT
REMEMBER THIS, I THINK WE'RE
GOING BACK ABOUT 34 YEARS RIGHT
NOW WHEN BRIAN...

Deb says OH!
DERNZ.

Steve says YOU READ IN YOUR
HISTORY BOOK AS A CHILD.

Deb says EXACTLY.

Steve says A CERTAIN CITIZEN
APPROACHED BRIAN MULRONEY ON
PARLIAMENT HILL, AND SO HE
CHANGED HIS MIND, BUT HE RAISED
A DIFFERENT TAX.
I THINK HE UPPED THE GAS TAX
INSTEAD.
IS THAT AN OUT FOR THIS PREMIER
ON THIS FILE?
MAYBE RESTORE PUBLIC HEALTH BUT
FIND THAT SAVINGS SOMEWHERE ELSE?

Deb says WELL, I WAS THINKING AS
COUNCILLOR CRESSY WAS CHATTING,
IF THE PREMIER HAD COME FORWARD
AND SAY, OKAY, I'M GOING TO
REDUCE YOUR TRANSFER PAYMENT BY
X AMOUNT, I'M NOT SURE WE'D BE
HEARING A DIFFERENT STORY THAN
WE'RE HEARING.
SO I DON'T THINK THERE IS A
BETTER REDUCTION OR A WORSE
REDUCTION.
AND IF THERE IS, THEN I WELCOME
OTHERS TO COME FORWARD AND SAY
SO.
BUT I THINK CUTS ARE DIFFICULT.
NO ONE LIKES THEM.
BUT THEY HAVE TO BE DONE.

The caption changes to "Producer: Colin Ellis, @ColinEllis81."

Steve says THE DEBATE WILL
CONTINUE AND WE THANK THE FOUR
OF YOU FOR HAVING IT HERE WITH
US ON TVO TONIGHT.
CAM GUTHRIE, THE MAYOR OF
GUELPH, ONTARIO, ALSO THE CHAIR
OF LUMCO, THE LARGE URBAN MAYORS
CAUCUS OF ONTARIO.
JOE CRESSY, THE TORONTO CITY
COUNCILLOR FOR WARD 10, SPADINA
FORT YORK.
ALSO THE HEAD OF THE BOARD OF
HEALTH FOR THE CITY OF TORONTO.
JOHN SNOBELEN, THE FORMER PC
CABINET MINISTER.
YOU CAN READ HIM IN THE TORONTO
SUN, AND DEB HUTTON, A SENIOR
ADD ADVISOR TO A COUPLE OF
PREMIERS, AND NOW YOU CAN READ
HERE IN QP BRIEFING.
GREAT TO HAVE ALL OF YOU HERE AT
TVO TONIGHT.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Deb says GREAT.

Cam says THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Watch: The Cost of Ontario's Funding Cuts