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Premier Ford, Education Minister defend education plan at Queen's Park

Ontario Premier Doug Ford attends Question Period at the Ontario Legislature in Toronto, on Wednesday, September 12, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

The province’s education plan was a hot topic at Queen’s Park on Thursday with the opposition peppering the premier and the minister of education with questions over cuts.

The NDP asked Lisa Thompson about lower class sizes and the fact that some school boards are cutting classes.

“We all have to do our part and when I’m consulting across this province I’m hearing from teachers ‘look to the boards, look to the boards to see what they could do to find some savings’ because really, we’re standing with teachers, we’re standing with students, we’re standing with parents when we say school boards stop the fear mongering, opposition party stop the fear mongering,” the education minister said.

But when asked if the premier would rethink education cuts, Doug Ford fired back at the NDP, calling it “nonsense.”

“They keep saying cuts, what cuts? They can’t name any because there hasn’t been any Mr. Speaker,” Ford said.

“We’ve increased $700-million. I’m gonna send them to a math class, each and every one of them cause they can’t add. It’s $700-million we’re putting back into education. I can’t wait until September so all the rhetoric and nonsense that we’re heard from opposition, all the rhetoric we’ve heard from the teacher’s unions, that don’t have the teachers best interest, in September we’re going to say ‘we told you so.'”

While, overall, education spending will go up, funding for the Toronto District School Board and the Toronto Catholic District School Board will go down.

Those boards are facing a budget shortfall.

Thompson is set to kick off negotiations between the province and teacher’s unions.

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Staff, program cuts on the line as school boards face multi-million dollar budget gaps
Education minister accuses TDSB of ‘playing politics’ over budget shortfall claims
Premier Doug Ford says the TDSB budget shortfall claims are ‘scare tactics’

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