Peter Tabuns MPP, Toronto-Danforth

Government of Ontario

Ford turned away small business in need while giving millions to those that didn’t need help

Published on December 1, 2021

Auditor General finds Ford gave $1 billion away it shouldn’t have, is leaving ORs to sit idle, and more

QUEEN’S PARK — Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is slamming Doug Ford for turning his back on small businesses that legitimately needed help to make it through the pandemic, while giving nearly $1 billion to corporations that didn’t need it and didn’t qualify.
According to the annual report from the Auditor General, the Ford government gave $210 million to businesses that were ineligible to receive anything, $8 million to businesses that had no revenue loss whatsoever, and gave some businesses $714 million more in support than they lost in revenue.
“Doug Ford dragged his feet for 10 months of the pandemic before finally slapping a support program in place over just two days,” said Horwath. “Helping small businesses wasn’t a priority for Ford, so he launched a late, half-baked program ripe for abuse. I can’t imagine how it feels for mom-and-pops to know that while they were closing their doors and walking away from their dreams, Ford was shovelling millions over to businesses that didn’t need it. 
“Why did the Ford government choose not to put any oversight in place to make sure grants went into helping small businesses keep their doors open and staff employed? Why did he write off that money instead of getting back funds that belong to Ontarians?”
The auditor’s report also shows that the Ford government had troubling practices for contracts it was handing out – in some cases to Ford’s own buddies and insiders. It gave a $2.5 million contract and an extension to Facedrive, while ignoring red flags that Facedrive was in crisis. Ford himself appeared in promotional materials for the grant, and it’s still unclear if any of the devices Ford marketed and Ontario bought were even delivered.
The reports also show that wait times for outpatient surgeries are getting worse and operating rooms are underused. To top it off, the reports found patients receiving OHIP-covered services at clinics have been getting gouged with extra charges, receiving a surprise bill after a surgery covered by Medicare.