Provincial cuts to library service will be felt locally
The ramifications of the Ford government’s library service cuts are already being felt locally.
In April, the province announced it would cut the budget of the Southern Ontario Library Service and the Ontario Library Service-North in half for the 2019-20 fiscal year.
Ontario Library Service North operates loans, delivers books, and provides training for libraries across Northern Ontario, which includes the Thunder Bay Public Library.
“As you can imagine that means in terms of the quality, the service they can provide, half of it is gone,” John Pateman, CEO chief librarian of Thunder Bay Public Library said.
Pateman said the announcement from the provincial government came “out of the blue, with no concentration, and no warning.”
“The official reason from the Ford administration is this agency is inefficient, and it can operate without half its budget, which is obviously incorrect,” he said.
“I personally think it’s more to do with the Ford government’s agenda around public services, and the value given to those services.”
Pateman says although the cuts won’t mean any lost jobs at the library, the service cuts will create a ripple effect that will gradually affect the worker’s ability to provide quality service.
“The cuts aren’t to the service itself, but to the support service. It means the quality of what we provide in time will be depleted.”
TBPL uses the service for training, governance, and website development.
“We’re a kind of educational resource,” he said.
“People come here for books, information, free access to the internet – everything we provide here is free. If there’s going to be cuts to the education system, we’re kind of a safety net.” – Tbnewswatch
article website here
everything we provide here is free
Nothing is free. Someone is paying to provide those services. Where does Mr. Pateman think that the province gets its money from? The money fairy?
Nope. If Thunder Bay citizens want those services bad enough, then they will have to pay for them via municipal taxes. I agree with that. That way, the real costs of these services will be tabled at City Hall and a discussion can be had whether they should be funded.
Right now, our tax dollars are being laundered through senior levels of government. We have no say how those dollars are spent. The federal and provincial governments giving the art gallery almost $30 million to relocate to the waterfront is a prime example. Is that how most city residents would want $30 million in tax dollars spent? We do not know because we were never asked.
There is always the private sector. They also have money.