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Vanthof says fall economic statement will hurt many groups and people

Timiskaming-Cochrane New Democrat MPP John Vanthof says Ontarians and children are big losers in the Ford government’s fall economic statement.

Vanthof says two areas where the Progressive Conservative government is making cuts especially stand out.

One is the axing of the Environmental Commissioner and the other is the elimination of the Child Advocate although the agency remains.

Vanthof says when social agencies identify children who need special help, they contact the Child Advocate.

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“It’s like a legal clinic and they make sure the kids get the resources they need,” said the NDP member.

Vanthof says kids don’t have someone to speak for them.

He says when something happens the Child Advocate can tell the appropriate ministry that something different needs to be done to address or correct a problem.

On the subject of the Environmental Commissioner, Vanthof says “it’s appalling” that the watchdog is being eliminated.

“It brings to light issues, the government needs to look at,” he said.

Vanthof says earlier this month the commissioner released a report where 70 to 80 communities that don’t have adequate sewage treatment systems ended up releasing raw sewage into lakes or rivers during storms.

“This is something the Environmental Commissioner brings attention to,” Vanthof said.

“But Ford doesn’t like talking about the environment, (so) no more Environment Commissioner.”

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