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, cut the deficit and help the north, CUPE ontario leaders say

TORONTO, 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 the President of Ontario's largest union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) at today's Labour Day Parade in Toronto.

"Northern Ontario communities know that corporate tax cuts don't help when mills and mines are closing and good-paying jobs are disappearing. That's a time when people need support from social services like the ones delivered by thousands of CUPE members across the north," said CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn. "We don't need corporate tax cuts, we need to invest in creating good, stable jobs and making the north less vulnerable to the fluctuating natural resource markets."

Hahn took his message to the provincial capital where, standing alongside CUPE national president Paul Moist and Ontario Secretary-Treasurer Candace Rennick, he called on the province to raise provincial taxes for the wealthy and roll back recent corporate tax cuts.

"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 Hahn. "Corporate tax cuts haven't created jobs. They have only made the rich richer while they take good jobs out of Ontario."

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 at a Labour Day parade in the provincial capital.

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.

Labour Day events in Northern Ontario include:

Kenora – Picnic at Beatty Park in Keewatin (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

Sault Ste. Marie – Family fun day at Bellevue Park (noon to 4 p.m.)

Thunder Bay – Picnic at Lakehead Labour Centre (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Timmins – Parade starts at Mattagami River Conservation Area parking lot, 11 a.m. BBQ at Hollinger Park starts at noon

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
    Fred Hahn

    Craig Saunders
    CUPE Communications