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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You're both mistaken. OHIP+ does not allow for coordination of benefits. In order to get coordination of benefits, you have to apply through the Trillium drug plan. And the big, gaping flaw is that people simply lie to avoid their copays/deductibles.

Paul, that is what they wanted you to think. They said private plans would be the "first payer". This led everyone to believe that OHIP+ was the second payer. However when implemented it turns out that the patient is the second payer. No one who has ANY private coverage is eligible for ANY ohip+ coverage. But if you are a rich self-employed consultant with no "benefits plan" your kids are fully funded by the government. Its a great system, don't you think? You need to not listen to what the Cons SAY, you need to actually read the legislation they pass, as well as the regulations that they implement. This is where the truth lies. The devil is in the details, as they say.

"Cut" tuition fees by 10% is really the opposite of how "cut" is being used in this context.

Paul, true, it is technically the opposite of a "cut". It's a disguised cut. It's a chunk of post-secondary institutions' budgets that is suddenly gone and that money is going to come from somewhere... Perhaps it will be made up by donations, but it is more likely going to come from a part of the operating budget or the grant / bursary structure. The students who have the money to attend won't have any issues and will now save a few hundred bucks, but the students who are relying on loans, grants, bursaries, and scholarships which come from the university will be left finding it elsewhere.

Doug, you lead the most populous province. Get to work instead of conniving and conspiring!!!

Think long & hard & do some research before you vote!!


The only thing he didn't cut was his salary to reflect what the average person has to earn to have a life.
Those beady reptilain eyes of his are a dead giveaway of the future he has in mind for us. Feasting for whom?

Holy crap. This guy has no clue. It's like buying a horse and then chopping off its legs. This is what Alberta is in for - and Canada if we don't smarten up as voters. All the left of centre parties should converge into one party. The rights did it. They count on nonstrategic voting.

Sad - especially when hurting children or disabled ....
Health - Lives are important....
My husband had a major medical emergency in February, our GO’s office sent him by ambulance from their office to Jurvinski, surgery middle of the night - from our GP’s office to the ambulance, the surgeons , the hospital .... they saved his life!!!! Now if cuts were in place and ambulance wasn’t available- what then??

Ford has not cut spending, he has increased spending:
2016-17 Ontario government spending: $143 billion
2017-18 Ontario budget spending: $154 billion
Ford's recent budget/planned spending: $163 billion
Minimum wage is a barrier for low/no skilled entry workers and increases the likelihood of a job being eliminated entirely via automation.

While some of these cuts may result in negative outcomes to the prov. and people in general the majority will not be missed. Must say I am not a DF fan at all.

For the People? Nah, For the Peeps

What I DON'T see is what Ford has given away in tax cuts to the better-off to create the "need" for these cuts in services to those who expect their government to provide them. There's the "balance" Ontarians should be looking at.

BC went through a similar process a decade ago with it's conservative government, who promised balanced budgets. They accrued the largest debt in BC history.

So we voted them out and life is much better, but it was a mean terrible decade full of political cronyism and continuous lawsuits.

The Ford government also rolled back the reforms to land use planning brought in by the Liberals. We're back to the old rules where an non-accountable tribunal determines what is "good planning" instead of forcing the municipalities to make decisions that are consistent with their own or provincial plans. The new regime was given less than a year to show what it could do. A number of restrictions on what can be appealed have been retained, however.
In the process the government closed down the Local Planning Appeal Support Centre, ostensdibly to save $1.5m/year. In the nine months of its existence this Support Centre was making a real difference in communities' or individuals' ability to deal with municipal planning decisions, including avoidance of costly and useless appeals, mediating settlements, etc.
Oddly, neither the Budget Bill nor Bill 108 repealed the LPASC Act. Does this mean they're still having second thoughts about closing the Centre or do they just not give a damn that a duly legislation entity is forced to die for lack of funds?

Also missing from the list are the changes brought in to the Endangered Species Act, among other environmental legislation. The amendments to the ESA send the province back to the dark ages when evidence didn't matter and political expediency was the name of the game.

Even before Doug Ford came along, Ontario had the lowest per capita program spending in all of Canada, and Canada itself has one of the lowest program spending rates in the entire industrialized world, making any conservative ideologue's claim that spending was out of control complete and utter counterfactual nonsense. Ontario also has the lowest per capita income among provinces as well, indicating that the problem isn't out of control spending, but decades of reducing government income to the point where supporting even bare-bones programs becomes tenuous. More to the point, if Doug Ford were enacting all of these cuts in order to balance the books, that would be one thing, but when he is doing it to fund yet more corporate tax cuts, the hypocrisy couldn't be more garishly on display.