/A list of cuts and changes Doug Ford has made this year as he tries to balance the budget (via Qpute.com)
A list of cuts and changes Doug Ford has made this year as he tries to balance the budget

A list of cuts and changes Doug Ford has made this year as he tries to balance the budget (via Qpute.com)

TORONTO – Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government has made a dizzying array of changes in its first year in power, including a host of cuts, as it tries to eliminate an $11.7-billion deficit.

Here is a selection of some of the program and funding cuts, many of which have emerged in dribs and drabs since April’s budget:


The government plans $256.8 million in administrative savings this year as it starts the process of merging a network of health agencies under one umbrella called Ontario Health.

Kids and young adults with private coverage were removed from the OHIP-plus plan for free prescriptions for Ontarians under 25, saving the government $250 million a year.

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An out-of-country OHIP program is being cancelled. An agency that helps young people quit smoking had their $1 million in funding cut.


Nearly all programs that were funded through $2 billion in cap-and-trade revenues were cancelled when the system was scrapped, including for cleantech accelerators, electric vehicle subsidies, a fund for school repairs, rebates for energy-efficient renovations, and cycling infrastructure.

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The office of the environmental commissioner was cut – as were other oversight offices of a child and youth advocate and French language commissioner – as was a $4.7 million program to plant 50 million trees, and $3.7 million in funding for conservation authorities.

Tech and research

About $52 million less was allocated this year for health policy and research. Funding was cancelled to all think tanks, two of which will have to close because of the decision.

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Funding to two artificial intelligence institutes was cut by $24 million. Funding of $5 million for stem cell research was cut. Funding was also cancelled to a scale-up voucher program of $9.7 million, a technology accelerators program of $9.5 million, 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.

More than $2 million was cut from Communitech and the Gambling Research Exchange of Ontario’s entire $2.5 million budget was cut.

Arts, culture and tourism

Funding to the Ontario Arts Council was cut by $10 million. A $5 million Indigenous Culture Fund was cancelled.

Ford government cuts funding to Ontario Arts Council, impacting Indigenous Culture Fund

The Ontario Music Fund was cut by $8 million, more than half of its previous funding. Two library services saw a $2.3-million cut. Funding to regional tourism organizations is being reduced by $17.5 million. Funding to the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation was cut by $5 million.

Grants in support of festival and event attractions were cut by $2 million. Grants in support of tourism investment development were cut in half, to $500,000.

Social, education and other programs

Legal Aid Ontario is receiving $133 million less this year than it had anticipated. A so-called free tuition program was scaled back, so that low-income students can no longer qualify for grants large enough to cover the full cost of their tuition – a portion of all student assistance will be loans.

College and university funding tied more to performance

A 10 per cent tuition cut will mean less funding for universities and colleges. A basic income pilot program was cancelled, as was a planned increase to a $15 minimum wage. The budget for a poverty reduction strategy office was cut in half from nearly $15 million.

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