John Vanthof, the NDP MPP for Timiskaming-Cochrane, is worried about a budget proposal will affect health units across Ontario.

Vanthof says one of the budget proposals would see the province’s 35 health units merged into 10 larger regionals offices.

“It’s important to keep them local because regions face different issues,” Vanthof said.

Vanthof says his riding has forestry, mining and agriculture and under the current system the local health unit handles the issues.

However, Vanthof questions that as the health units merge, how can someone from another part of Ontario not familiar with issues address them.

“It’s really important that the health units be local,” he said.

Vanthof says if the health units merge, he believes the eventual direction for  how matters are carried out will likely come from Toronto.

Vanthof also has a bone to pick with the Ford government for slashing the budget of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

He says well more than $200-million was spent last year in Ontario fighting forest fires.

“This year’s they’re spending $60-million,” he said.

“I’m hoping not to get a year like last year.  “But (the Tories) are being pretty optimistic to say we’re only going to have a third of the cost of last year.”