Ontarians are concerned about the state of government services

Even though Toronto is often named one of the best cities in the world to live in, many of the systems that sustain life in the city and the province as a whole seem to be breaking down lately, and residents are increasingly more worried.

Ontario hospital emergency rooms are regularly scaled back and even completely closed for periods due to understaffing, leading to longer wait times and fear of limited access to care basic health care in emergencies.

As a result, Premier Doug Ford is set to change health care in the province, but was quite vague about his plans in his Speech from the Throne this week, sparking talk of a step toward privatization.

As hospitals scramble, other basic services also appear to be failing, with staff illnesses forcing transit agency Metrolinx to cut its GO Train and UP Express schedules.

An impending strike of the union representing GO workers could mean much more severe disruption as well for the many people who depend on the train to get in and out of the city on a daily basis.

Other concerns people are talking about on social media include: the ongoing violent incidents on the TTC, whether it’s people being knocked unconscious or set on fire; the fact that so many Toronto city councilors are leave their roles and very few people are candidates for the council; and, of course, the ongoing pandemonium at Pearson Airport.

“All of this, and no reassuring plan to fix it. I know we have a good quality of life here, but it looks like we’re one teacher strike away from being alone,” one person pointed out in a Reddit thread which garnered nearly 500 comments on the topic in less than a day.

Among them, people reiterating their concern about: the impossibility of having a family doctor or adequate health care; the state of our hospitals and airports; how meager Ontario Disability Support Program payments are; and politicians’ priorities (eg, building new highways that people don’t even want, but neglecting health care).

While residents remain apprehensive, they aren’t convinced things will improve anytime soon, especially with Doug Ford just beginning a new term at the helm.

Ashley C. Reynolds