Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

September 05, 2011 10:30 ET

It's time to let the wealthy pay their share to protect services and cut the deficit, CUPE Ontario leaders say

WINDSOR, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 5, 2011) - We cannot afford to keep giving handouts to the super-rich and to big corporations when public services are threatened and governments are facing huge deficits, said leaders of Ontario's largest union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) at today's Labour Day events around the province.

"We keep talking about offering tax cuts to get companies to invest in Canada and they do the exact opposite. All corporate tax cuts did was line the pockets of people who were already rich while making life harder for the poor and middle classes," said CUPE Ontario vice-president Andrea Madden at today's Labour Day Parade in Windsor.

Madden proudly lives in Windsor, where she works for the Windsor-Essex Children's Aid Society and is president of the Windsor District CUPE Council. She is concerned that Windsor has had one of the highest unemployment rates in Canada for several years as manufacturers have abandoned the city.

"Right now, what people in Windsor need is a government that will help them rebuild their futures. They need help, and cuts to the services that will get them on the road to recovery is not helping," Madden said.

At today's Labour Day Parade in Toronto, CUPE Ontario president Fred Hahn echoed Madden's concerns and suggested a modest tax increase for the super-rich and rollbacks on some recent corporate tax cuts would help.

"We wouldn't have a deficit problem if corporations and the mega-rich paid their fair share of taxes. We could have strong, stable services like care for people with developmental disabilities and we could stop closing hospital beds," said CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn.

By increasing the rate by just two percent for people making more than $500,000 a year, and closing the executive stock option loophole, the province would increase revenues by more than $500 million. Reversing the $2 billion Dalton McGuinty recently gave out in corporate tax cuts will return a further $2 billion to the province for a total of over $2.5 billion.

"A modest 2 percent tax increase would only affect the most wealthy, but would generate enough revenue to deal with the deficit and provide adequate funding for many of the social services that make life better for so many Ontarians," Hahn said.

Noting that large banks and corporations in Canada are getting away without paying their fair share thanks to successive Liberal and PC tax cuts, Hahn pointed to a 2010 KPMG report, Competitive Alternatives, which shows that corporations in Canada pay less in tax than corporations in the United States or any major European country.

"Life has been getting more expensive, and corporate tax cuts mean average Canadians are lining the pockets of CEOs. That just isn't fair," Hahn said.

The annual Labour Day Parade begins at 10:00 a.m. at the CAW local 200/444 Hall and workers will march to the Fogolar Furlan Club.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) represents more than 230,000 workers in Ontario. Its members work in health care, at schools and universities, for municipalities and provide essential social services.

Contact Information

  • CUPE Ontario
    Andrea Madden

    CUPE Ontario
    Fred Hahn

    CUPE Communications
    Craig Saunders