Mike Mantha, the MPP for Algoma-Manitoulin, says the Ontario budget released yesterday is a cruel one slashing ministries across the board.

Mantha says all the budget has is cuts, cuts and more cuts.

The Ford Conservatives are cutting $1 billion in funding from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, and are slashing close to three-quarters of a billion dollars in funding for post-secondary education in this fiscal year alone – while Ford is also keeping universities and colleges under his thumb with a threat that as much as 60 per cent of their remaining funding could be withheld.

And Ford is squeezing health care and education spending so it won’t even keep up with inflation.

Mantha says among the across-the-board cuts, social services are hit the hardest, with a $1 billion cut, putting everything from support for people living with disabilities to the social safety net everyone counts on in dire risk.

Rural and Northern Ontarians will see Ministry of Agricultural Food and Rural Affairs cut deeply, losing roughly a quarter of its funding. And Ford is hacking funding for the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs in half.

Mantha says rebranding, changing up licence plates and dollar beer won’t help health care, education or economic development challenges in the North.

The first budget brought in by the Ford government includes legalizing online gambling, seeing new dollars through cannabis sales and rebranding including logos on licence plates.