Statement on Provincial Funding Cut of $1 billion to Toronto Public Health

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Statement from Councillor Joe Cressy, Chair of the Board of Health - Provincial Funding Cut of $1 billion to Toronto Public Health

TORONTO – Today, late in the afternoon on the day before a long weekend, the Provincial Government announced that they are cutting $1 billion to Toronto Public Health over the next 10 years, effective immediately. Affected programs will include disease prevention, water quality testing, immunization monitoring and surveillance, prenatal support, overdose prevention, food safety regulation, infectious disease control, student nutrition, and more.

Public Health services are vital to the health of every single Torontonian and Ontarian. They save lives today, and tomorrow. Evidence has shown that the diseases we prevent today, represent the health care costs we save tomorrow. Research has shown that for every dollar invested in immunization, results in $16 of health care savings. For every dollar invested in tobacco prevention, results in $20 of health care savings. The list goes on and on.

This announcement was made despite an indisputable body of evidence suggesting that the best way to prevent hallway health care and improve the health of Ontarians is to invest more, not less, in public health. The announcement was also made despite a formal Toronto City Council resolution calling on the Province of Ontario to maintain its current funding for Toronto Public Health.

I say this without an ounce of exaggeration – because of today's announced cuts, people will die. That's not rhetoric, it's a fact. This announcement is callous, it is cruel, and it is short-sighted".

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Media Contact:

Lia Brewer – Office of Councillor Cressy: lia.brewer@toronto.ca 416-392-4044