Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

August 24, 2011 15:12 ET

Hudak refuses to honour previously negotiated uploading agreement at AMO Convention

NDP only party to put forth real and achievable plans for municipalities at largest provincial gathering of municipal leaders

LONDON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 24, 2011) - 1,600 AMO (Association of Municipalities of Ontario) convention delegates got a major let-down this week, when PC Leader Tim Hudak told delegates that the Conservatives will not complete the funding upload for municipal services if they win this fall's election.

In 1990, the Conservative government, in which Hudak served as a Cabinet Minister, downloaded major public services, like transit and social assistance, to Ontario municipalities without providing adequate funding to operate those services. Municipalities have been burdened by those costs ever since and had depended on the AMO-negotiated uploading agreement to maintain services.

"Everyone at this week's AMO Convention, from elected politicians to unionized municipal employees, understood how deeply problematic the Tories' platform is for towns and cities all across Ontario," said CUPE Ontario President, Fred Hahn, who attended the Convention in London, Ontario. "There is more than a decade of evidence that the downloading of costs for services like transit and social assistance by the former PC government has had a crippling effect on municipalities. Tim Hudak just doesn't get it."

Hahn also criticized promises by Premier McGuinty made at AMO, as having an air of fantasy about them.

"These are promises communities have heard before from the Liberal government," said Hahn. "But the Liberals have demonstrated, time and again, that they will withdraw their funding announcements in favour of spending on corporate tax cuts - just like they did with promised billions in transit funding last year."

New Democrat Leader, Andrea Horwath promised to maintain the agreed to upload schedule negotiated by AMO and added a commitment that the province will resume its historic role of funding 50% of the operating costs for municipal transit.

"Andrea Horwath and the NDP get it," said Hahn. "It's why Andrea's transit promise was so warmly received at AMO. And unlike the Liberals, the NDP has a plan to ensure the revenue that is needed to fund these vital publicly-delivered services is there for municipalities. Her plans were practical, achievable and put the needs of people first."

Fred Hahn is the president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario. CUPE has 230,000 members in the province, more than 60,000 of which work for municipalities.

Contact Information

  • Ryan LeClaire
    CUPE Communications