The eminent conservative scholar of public budgeting Aaron Wildavsky characterized annual budgets as a record of “victories, defeats, bargains, and compromises.” The province of Ontario’s 2019 Budget, the first of the new Conservative government of Doug Ford, does indeed tell us something of this – additional fiscal supports for business, erosion of social expenditures in general, and for the most vulnerable in particular, large expenditures on public programs needed now spread far into the future, and generous symbolic gestures for this and that political constituency. Few surprises here: after all, Ontario is long-standing as Canada’s pre-eminent fiscally conservative jurisdiction with an unbroken legacy of clientelist politics greased by the public purse of the provincial state.

The City of Wetaskiwin is continuing to look for long-term solutions for its homeless population.

At the Wetaskiwin Regional Chamber of Commerce meeting May 14, Mayor Tyler Gandam said the emergency shelter set up over the winter was helpful to many, but it has been closed now that the weather is warmer,

“It was a long and bitter winter for most of us, but none more so than for those who struggled to find shelter.”

In light of this reality, he said, the City opened an emergency shelter on Feb 5, mere hours after finding out they had received $40,000 in grant funding from the province to do so. A report outlining how the funding was used will be made available once it is complete he said.

The emergency shelter was open continuously from 7 p.m. until 8 a.m. every day from Feb. 5 until April 30.

Doug Ford has shat the bed.

A year into his reign of cuts and chaos, the self-anointed premier “For the People,” finds himself on the bubble with disapproval ratings across the province hitting 75 per cent, including in traditionally conservative hotbeds of support right across Ontario.

Ford’s campaign to defund essential services and privatize everything else has turned conservatives in his own party against him. According to one recent public opinion poll, three out of 10 PC members who voted for Ford in 2018 would not vote for him again if an election were held today. The decimated Liberals with only seven MPPs don’t even have a leader and they’re neck-and-neck with the PCs.

With the recent news that Canada is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) is calling for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

… However, while giving food that would otherwise go to landfill to hungry people may be a convenient part of a solution to reduce greenhouse gases, it will do little to ensure the well-being of the four million Canadians who are food insecure.

… In a country as wealthy as ours, it is immoral, unjust and unconscionable that the Government of Canada would endorse a plan that effectively relegates four million Canadians to second-class citizenry by recommending that they eat the garbage that no one else wants.

Dozens of protesters braved the rain on Wednesday evening to send a message to city hall about its plan to clean up temporary homeless camps along with discarded needles, condoms and human waste.

“Labelling the homeless and the needles and the garbage together is dehumanizing,” said Alexa Legere, coordinator of Mama Bear Clan, a patrol group that helps the vulnerable people in Point Douglas.

“They should be supporting and seeing what these people need, not ripping away everything they have.”

The Ontario government has only found about half of the savings necessary to meet its own budget plan, the province’s financial watchdog says.

Another $6 billion will have to be cut from the province’s expenses by 2021/22 for Premier Doug Ford’s government to achieve its projections, the Financial Accountability Office (FAO) said in a report Wednesday.

“There are probably policy changes that they’re kicking around right now that they haven’t decided to announce yet, for a whole variety of reasons,” Financial Accountability Officer Peter Weltman told reporters.