Before Ontario Premier Doug Ford was elected last June, he made an array of ambitious campaign promises. He also vowed to create a “government for the people" that would rein in spending.

Friday marks a year since the Progressive Conservatives were elected and began their budget cuts. In April, Ford's government laid out its plan to eliminate an $11.7-billion deficit from their budget, titled "Protecting What Matters Most". That phrase has been used repeatedly to justify their cuts, including reductions in the budgets of 13 ministries, as well as a blueprint of shrinkage across public sectors and programs — impacting everything from trees to libraries to financial assistance for victims of crime.

In commenting on the government's decision to adjourn till Oct. 28, one week after the federal election, Conservative house leader Todd Smith said the PC government has "achieved so much."

The Ontario premier agreed, adding recently that his government was "moving at lightning speed."

Here's a list of everything the Ford government has cut in its first year in office:


  • Cancelled Cap and Trade
  • Ended electric and hydrogen vehicle incentive program
  • Cut 700+ green energy projects
  • Shut down White Pines Wind Project
  • Proposed cuts to protections of species at-risk
  • Removed electric vehicle chargers from GO station parking lots
  • Slashed 50 per cent of flood management funds given to conservation authorities
  • Eliminated funding for 50 Million Tree Program
  • Ended Drive Clean, a mandatory biannual emissions test program for vehicles and light-duty trucks more than seven years old
  • Axed the Green Ontario Fund, which provided funds through cap and trade to help make properties more energy-efficient


  • Cancelled free prescription medication given to those under 25 through the Pharmacare program
  • Cancelled the opening of new overdose prevention sites
  • Cut the Liberals’ promised $2.1 billion over four years for new mental health funding to $1.9 billion over 10 years
  • Revoked current and future funding for the College of Midwives of Ontario
  • Dissolved Local Health Integration Networks and merged them under one new umbrella body called Ontario Health
  • Slashed the number of paramedic service providers from 59 to 10
  • Proposed ending OHIP’s medical emergency coverage for Ontarians travelling outside the country
  • Planned to cut $200 million from Public Health services, impacting 35 health units. Toronto Public Health would have seen a reduction in provincial funding by $1 billion over the next 10 years. That translates into cuts in school breakfast programs, daycare and restaurant inspections, water-quality testing, pre- and postnatal care for single mothers, and detection of emerging threats to public health. (While, the government reversed retroactive cuts, but future cuts remain)
  • Scrapped funding for three supervised drug-use sites (two in Toronto, one in Ottawa)
  • Trimmed $1 million in funding from Leave the Pack Behind, an agency that helps young people quit smoking


  • Rolled back sex-ed curriculum
  • Removed $100-million budget for school repairs (due to cancellation of cap and trade)
  • Cancelled Ontario's first planned French-language university
  • Removed $25 million from the Education Programs-Other (EPO) Fund, which will limit grants available for school programs like after-school jobs for youth in low-income neighbourhoods; tutors in classrooms; leadership programs for racialized students; daily physical activity for elementary students and more
  • Dropped financial assistance for college and university students by more than $300 million
  • Removed free tuition for low-income students
  • Cut tuition fees by 10 per cent
  • Scrapped over $300 million in funding for three satellite university campuses
  • Increased class sizes, potentially resulting in over 3,400 lost teaching jobs over next four years
  • Cancelled three summer curriculum-writing sessions, including one that was mandated by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and two others relating to American Sign Language and Indigenous languages for kindergarten students
  • Shutdown the Harmony Movement, which provides diversity, equity, and inclusion education
  • Scrapped the Ontario College of Trades

Legislative positions

  • Privatization Officer
  • Chief Scientist
  • Investment Officer
  • Environmental Commissioner’s Office
  • Ontario Child Advocate
  • French Language Commissioner
  • Voluntary buyouts offered to thousands of Ontario public service workers


  • Reduced legal aid by 30 per cent
  • Disbanded Anti-Racism Directorate
  • Withheld $14.8 million in promised funding from existing and new sexual assault centres
  • Dissolved Ontario's Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, the tribunal that has awarded financial assistance to crime victims since 1971, as well as the law that provides financial aid to the victims of violent crime

Municipal affairs

  • Cut Toronto City Council in half
  • Planned to cut funds to repair social housing
  • Asked municipalities and school boards to find 4 per cent in “efficiencies” (i.e., cuts) to services

Arts, culture and tourism

  • Retroactively slashed $5 million from the Ontario Arts Council. This has resulted in the suspension of five programs including National and International Residency Project, Ontario Dances, Publishing Organizations Projects​​​​​​, Theatre Training Projects, Travel Assistance: Ontario Contact/Contact Ontarois
  • Cancelled the Indigenous Culture Fund
  • Dropped grants for the Ontario Music Fund by more than 50 per cent
  • Reduced funding to regional tourism organizations by $17.5 million
  • Announced the termination of the Beer Store contract, jeopardizing 7,000 jobs
  • Cut $9.5 million from Tourism Toronto (25 per cent of funding) and $3.4 million from Ottawa Tourism
  • Celebrate Ontario, which provides funding for music and arts festivals across the province, lost $7 million from its annual budget

Social services

  • Cut $1 billion from social services across the board
  • Scrapped Basic Income Pilot Project
  • Cancelled $1 increase minimum wage
  • Cut Workplace Safety Insurance Board payments to injured workers by 30 per cent
  • Killed Bill C-148, which provided part-time workers the same pay as full-time workers, guaranteed 10 days off (2 days paid) and more
  • Removed rent control for new units
  • Severed library services funding in half
  • Ended the Roundtable on Violence Against Women
  • Slashed $84.5 million funding for children and at-risk youth, including children’s aid societies
  • Cut $15 million from the Ontario Trillium Foundation


  • Cut funding to MaRS Discovery District
  • Eliminated funding for public policy think tanks such as the University of Toronto’s Mowat Centre, which conducted research on Ontario’s role in Canada and the world, as well as the Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity, launched under former PC premier Mike Harris
  • Cut funding to two artificial intelligence institutes by $24 million
  • Cancelled a technology accelerators program of $9.5 million, a college-based applied research projects worth $6.7 million; $5 million in funding to the Institute for Quantum Computing; $1.5 million in funding to the Lazaridis Institute, and $750,000 for bioindustrial innovation.
  • Pared $5 million in funding for stem cell research
  • Eliminated funding for Gambling Research Exchange Ontario
  • Cut all funding for Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation, a pilot program led by Toronto's Ryerson University to collate research on employment and training

Editor's Note: This article was updated on June 25, 2019 at 5:44 p.m. EST to include additional cuts.

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This list is very helpful. None of it is surprising though. It is a statement that life is worth nothing and money is everything.

I am quite tight financially. Forced to make cut backs in my personal life. Can I give you my name and address? Even just $500 dollars would help me out tremendously. Thanks.

How many lives can be helped if a city goes bankrupt? The "lives are more important than money" position forgets that it is economic collapse that causes the most human suffering. Look at Detroit or Chicago - that is where wild government spending to "help people" leads.

As for the article - a simple statement of how much money was spent by the city government before all the cuts and after the cuts would be useful. Often talk of "cuts" hides the fact that, overall, government spending has NOT been cut. Sometimes government spending can actually rise overall - and the media will concentrate on "cuts". I am NOT saying that this is the case in this instance - but overall baseline figures (how much was spent, overall, before the changes - and then after the changes) are vital.

The first item, cap and trade. Cancelling this program cost Ontario 3 billion dollars a year; ongoing! The Insurance and pension funds heavily invested in that plan will have taken a beating! At the time when I put up this same post on iPolitic, Ford forbid members of the Government staff to discuss this at all; with anybody.

Thank you for preparing this list, Fatima. It is very interesting to see how many of the cuts are ideological, aimed at ordinary Ontarians. I see no cuts to subsidies to business.

Honestly, where was the all that money going to come from? To support all of those programs? I had no idea half of those programs existed. NDP goverment promised 50 million into health care here and asked whete is the money going to come from.
Small business with tax breaks and less government usually thrive. When they thrive they can give more to the employees. Small businesses should not be taxed more to support people or programs.
Eventually the money runs out. No matter where it comes from.

Owners do not pay employees more or other perks just because business is thriving. The idea is maximum profits. Most employees are easily replaced. If the government didnt set laws slavery would be still a common practice. As long as we express success as financial gain it will be this way. Its BIG business demands that get heard but small businesses operate the same way, for profit. Youd be a fool to trust any company to do what's ethically correct.

I don't buy your argument. 'Eventually the money runs out, no matter where it comes from"?? That is a statement that makes no sense, particularly when you apply it to government coffers.

the only way that money could run out would be if we stopped the taxation system, and gave everything over to the private operators to run for their personal profit. At that point you'd find out what ran would be good educational programs for our young, well maintained roads and bridges for our transportation, and universal health care.......just to name a few essential services that are funded by our taxes.

Canadians have to wake up and stop acting as if our governments are supposed to hoard tax dollars so they don't have to collect any more next year. Governments are representatives of the citizens who elect them. You might be happy living in the fascist state of Benito Mussolini, where it was assumed business elites should be free to run the economy...........but I suspect even there, you would still be taxed.

The question we all need to be asking ourselves is to what use we want our taxes put. Bail outs for wealthy corporations? Subsidies to Fossil Fuel Companies? Free rides with no taxes for the likes of Amazon?

Because in the 40 years of neoliberal governments taxes have not gone down for most of us.....we bear a larger %-age of the tax take then we did prior to that privatize, deregulate, and lower taxes ideology that brought us to where we are now. With an Ontario Government that acts like climate change isn't an emergency, but government programs are.

Penny pinching and pound foolish. That's what my folks would call it. And they lived through the Great Depression and learned from that to fight for social programs this fat know it all is chipping away at.

It's shameful, and Canadians should know it.

Why is anyone shocked that this is what the neo cons are doing???? After 30 years of the vandals destroying a functioning country who the hell can be surprised???
Neo Con machine has been gnashing its teeth and salivating for 15 years to keep going from where Harris left off and Harper carried on federally. And they have picked it up without a missed beat--hell it's the SAME PEOPLE doing it as under harris and harper !! (eg. Rickford)
Enjoying that "change in government" yet??? But changing to the NDP seemed too radical for you???
What I see is that Corporate media finds it unthinkable to challenge NEO CON'S "province is broke therefore must cut services and give corporations tax breaks" by asking why not raise revenues with tax increases to corporations that have not invested money from decades of tax cuts but horded it??? And asking that EVERY DAY There are plenty of other choices for ways to govern than what doug and the thugs are making.

Soo folks it's fingers in ears, move to BC ,or lay down and cry for three more years of slash and destroy with intent to push fossil and hollow out public services

Who will benefit from there misgovernance is the question to ask---answer is obvious then.

This is a great list. Really happy to see these cuts. I'm worried he's not going far enough though.

I wish he had cut enough to balance the budget in the first year. Job one for any administrator in non-war time: balance the budget

He has managed to cut so much, and yet provincial spending is rising. There’s no balanced budget in sight, I’m afraid.

Both Doug Ford and the "concerned citizen" qualify for membership in the Flat Earth Society. Fatima's article superbly encapsulates the regressive ideas of our learned Premier, who shuts down Queen's Park till October - thereby shielding himself from the wrath of rational Ontarians. Anyone who seriously believes in slashing programmes geared to enhance public education and health, clearly lacks vision. Occasional belt-tightening measures are understandable, and sometimes even justifiable; however such measures always need to pass the cost/benefits test. This is what the Ford administration bypassed, showing total disregard for the harmful consequences it is inflicting on their constituents. In my view, upholding the carbon tax and maintaining the class sizes in schools are critical issues that need to be vigorously supported.

Honestly, please tell me how we can afford all these programs ...and pay off our debt?

Please provide a solution ...

You can’t spend what you don’t have and I am sorry but I am tired of tax hikes to pay for programs that have zero impact on me or majority of people in Ontario

The solution isn’t “more tax” thanks to the wonderful liberal government spending and spending and spending what we don’t have.....

Reminds me of a teenager with his first credit card ...

Well think about who is paying for the ridiculous ad campaign s to convince us how good ford is doing drives me crazy we are people pay attention

Are you on Drugs? maybe you haven't had some things happen to you. But if you did, you would be grateful that we have social programs. He's just cutting without any thought of what will happen down the road. Like not testing the water we drink and cancelling funding for disease control. With the way things are going in this world that is an absolutely stupid idea. Ya maybe he'll get the budget under control! but at what expense to you and me? I don't see any cuts to politicians or businesses. Seeing as how he's a businessman would you really expect that to happen. I never voted for him in the first place, cause I could see the type of man that he was, he's all about himself and screw every Ontarian at any cost. We voted for some things, but not the hap-hazard way he is doing everything. Cutting everything we value and hold dear. He doesn't care about anyone except for himself. He says a government for the people, but he has shown that it is just words, he doesn't care about the people!

I totally agree - until something has happened to you or loved ones - you won’t feel it....

I'm worried too, Concerned Citizen! I was afraid children in care with the Children's Aid Society would still be getting three meals a day. Relieved to hear that won't be the case. I'd like to meet with the iconic Doug Ford to begin a new programme along the lines of Ontario Works. We'll call it Little Ontario Works, especially for kids in CAS care or in families receiving welfare. At grade six and above they'll attend school for half a day and learn the value of hard work by putting in four (to six) hours after that, doing useful labour assigned by Doug and his team like cleaning Buck A Beer bottles, washing floors for corporate industry, etc. School is compulsory- we can adapt it so there's no excuse for these kids to run around at recess when they could be helping Corporate Business in Ontario. Corporate Business needs all the subsidies and indentured child labour we can provide.

I hope you joking

Brilliant satire! Problem is that half of Ford's supporters won't realize it is satire and they will support it as a serious policy proposal. Ouch!

I'm curious
Exactly who ostracized your parasitic existence and why were you not executed?

You are an obvious troll working for Ford. Go back to your Trump sites and tell us how great he really is....

This is what you get for electing conservative government. These neo cons don't care for the poor and middle class citizens. They are only there to line their pockets and how to enrich the millionaires and billionaires who run big corporations and donate heavily to the political campaigns.

Valerie...Head in the sand? You most conveniently forgot to mention, or attach any blame/responsibility to any Liberal Governments at any level during this period. I guess we know where your political alliances lie? Trudeau has done more damage in 3+ than Harper and his group did during the length of their tenure, as for Wynne and McGuinty....well suffice to say no two governments have ever done as much damage anywhere. They belong in jail......please remove your partisan blinders, big world out there.

All this time I thought he was focused on beer. Thank God that was just smoke and mirrors. If he really wants to make big cuts, he needs to bring back work for Welfare, from the Mike Harris time. This was huge. Welfare went down, because people didn’t show up, because they were at their unreported job. I am a big supporter of Health care, but there is so much fraud involved, and wait times are crazy because of unnecessary use by doctors and patients.
One of the cuts above is incorrect. Ford cancelled the monopoly beer store contract, he did not cut 7000 jobs (4000 full time, 3000 low pay part time). No one ever said the beer store was closing. This is about taking money from the super rich beer companies, and giving it to the small business owner, by creating a free market. No more price fixing. If you want convenience, corner store, want choice, beer store. The beer store has been reducing well paid full time employees for low paid part time for years. Because of Wynne screwing the poor and middle class with the minimum wage hike, these low pay part time jobs are everywhere.
When you think of the Gov’t spending you have to think, would I open my wallet to pay for that? They are spending our tax money. Do you think you could manage your household the same way the free spending Liberals do? The more they spend the more they tax.
Liberal supporters, please take a class in economics. Tax cuts to business encourage more businesses to open and stay open, or even expand. The more money they have the more jobs can be created. The more jobs created, the more money in the system, and the more money spent. Means the more income tax and sales tax collected. Means the government can afford to make more tax cuts. How do you think America got great in the first place (btw - it’s not great at the moment).
Lastly, I would love Ford to bring back all in pricing. TICO has started this in the travel industry. We have it at the gas pumps. Most of Europe has it. Excluding fees and taxes, does not make us more informed, it prays on the mathematically challenged, and pisses off those who are not. Car industry is starting this too. Watch the lemonade stand video where a little girl is selling a glass for 10 cents, but with fees like pouring fee, cup fee, etc. It comes to like 2-3 dollars. Robbery. Put an end to it Ford.

I think America got great by investing big time in education following WW2. They took the lead and own most modern tech because of it. You know american pysicists designed the internet? NASA sent men to the moon way back before I was even born. We can do the same by rejecting the status quo and investing on education.

Also just thought I should mention that tax cuts for business do not equate to more jobs. It is simply more money for the owner. There is no law saying they must be Canadian or spend their earnings here. Just one last thought, remeber being a kid thinking what the future would be like? 2019 and Canada has people who choose between rent or food.

Interesting - the list puts the library service cuts under the heading of social services but it is actually the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sport that is responsible for public libraries. Few Ontario Cabinets have seemed able to place Libraries in any consistent area of responsibility and most of the Ministries lumbered with them have, at best, acted with benign neglect. Since the days of Mowat, the Libraries portfolio shrinks from year to year - indicating that like far too many people, politicians seem to assume that libraries are an irrelevant relic of the Pre-Google/Pre-Amazon past.

I find that an odd perception when the university faculties that turn out professional librarians, information specialists, archivists, museum staff etc. have grown exponentially since I was granted my BLSc at Toronto in the mid '60's. In my subsequent career of more than 40 years I was privileged to be part of the digital and information revolution that fundamentally changed the mission and operations of all kinds of libraries, public, private, academic.

This revolution despite many roadblocks has created a worldwide network more powerful, more collaborative, more unified than ever before. This coming together has enabled an utterly essential cadre of people whose sole goal in life is to organize and deliver the past and present documentation of human life and communication, to preserve it, to curate it for reliability, for usefullness and for excellence. In some civilizations our colleagues have been considered central to the well-being of that civilization, keepers of the flame, if you will.

Nowadays, librarians are still caricatured as bespectacled, bun wearing, repressive spinsters, easily overlooked, ignored and denigrated. The truth of what graduates of Library and Information sciences actually do would possibly scare the inflated pants off most politicians and perhaps that's why they continue to try to underfund us out of existence. Perhaps some dim inkling of what libraries and information professionals are capable of is why despots, demagogues, faux "nationalists" and jumped up buffoons are so quick to disparage and actively attack - not just the truth, "freedom of the press", free speech, but the free flow of information between and among those of us charged with its conservation and dissemination.

The Ford government has added its spiteful mite to these attacks by strangling one of its last provincial involvements in publicly accessible libraries. Taking away half the funding that kept the physical movement of printed materials flowing between the province's widely dispersed and numerous, and always underfunded libraries, has inevitably destroyed that irreplaceable interlibrary exchange. Naturally this will most greatly impact the already disadvantaged rural and remote communities of Ontario but will prove to be a vast irritation and hindrance to the active learners among us. Minister Tibollo has participated in one of the government's greatest disservices to its population. Deprived of our ready access to non-digital sources (still crucial to civilization no matter what the digital powermongers may think), who knows how we will react? I would not be surprised if this inconvenience raises the ire of influential voters.

Way to go Doug and Thugs, dumbing down the populace so they won't know enough to vote you out is a common, but fallacious strategy. Thanks to some innate impusle for survival, humans are rarely bedazzled by con artists for long and our revenge when it comes can be brutal.

Well said!

I want to believe this is accurate, I don't like Ford. However, I was barely into the list when I found what was at best a half-truth: Cancelled free prescription medication given to those under 25 through the Pharmacare program.

What the PC's did was cut that for those under 25 already covered by another program, including their parents insurance. Not only that, if their parents program does not cover the full expense, they can submit the balance to the province for coordination of benefits. What they did was eliminate a major design flaw, that was probably an attempt to buy votes under 25, from the Liberals ill conceived program (or deliberately conceive to buy votes and signal virtue) that transferred cost from private insurers to taxpayers.

I happen to be knowledgeable about this area. How many of the others on the list are similarly inaccurate? Hopefully very few, but I can't have a lot of confidence. Be accurate. Print a clarifying retraction of this item.