In the face of staggering job losses, Ontario Premier Doug Ford boasted about the province's spending on his twitter account Tuesday, totalling over $1 billion CAD.
While Texas and Mississippi have announced they would soon be allowing businesses to open at full capacity, without masks, Ontario's employment continues to crumble. Canada's employment rate recently fell to its worst since August 2020, with 213,000 jobs lost in January, of which Ontario carried the large majority at 153,000 (72 per cent).
In just the span of 12 hours, Premier Ford excitingly tweeted out the province's most recent spending over a six-week period, totaling approximately $1,031,000,000.
The bulk ($1b) is what Ford says was handed out to "support more than 78,000 small businesses in Ontario."
Another $25 million was directed at the art sector, members of which Ford states "are critical to Ontario’s economy & were among the first and hardest hit by COVID-19."
Despite this statement, some Toronto film studios have remained open during lockdowns, while gyms and restaurants have suffered with closures and unconscionable capacity limits.
In the press release for the art-sector welfare program, the government outlines $24 million spent on 140 "arts organizations," while the remaining million is set to go to "much-needed support directly to artists and creators from across the province."
Lastly, the premier announced a race-based program meant "to help Black children and youth achieve their educational and career goals."
The three-year, $6,000,000 initiative will be directed at those aged six to 25, and is said to address "numerous systemic and structural barriers, [that] Black children and youth in Ontario are disproportionately experiencing [resulting in] more negative educational outcomes than their peers."
It is unclear based on the document what the requirements are to be considered eligible for the race-specific benefits.