Secret document shows how far Doug Ford's Tories would cut social services - until they were talked back from the brink - 2019-05-15
Labelled "High Sensitivity — Confidential Advice to Cabinet," the document contains unusually strong language from civil servants warning decision-makers they were jeopardizing the lives of Ontario's most vulnerable people as the budget planning process got underway.
A secret cabinet draft reveals that draconian cuts to social services, first considered by Doug Ford's government for its April budget, provoked strong internal warnings of potential human suffering, legal peril and political fallout.
"Program cuts in one area will drive pressures in others. A shift from prevention/early intervention will drive up long term costs. . . . Decreased funding will increase pressures on other government resources (e.g. shelters, hospitals and police)."
The government's initial ambition of rapid deficit reduction, based on sweeping cuts with "aggressive timelines," amounted to false economies likely to come back to haunt the province: