Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

January 27, 2010 13:55 ET

Media Advisory-Ontario Budget Advice This Thursday: Investment in Children's Services is Best Way to Fight Poverty, Deficit

NORTH BAY, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 27, 2010) - Front line workers will make the case that an investment in children's services is the best way to fight poverty and the provincial deficit when they present at the Ontario government's pre-budget hearings this Thursday in North Bay.

"The medical and community supports provided by Children's Aid Society (CAS) agencies and children's mental health services are often the way out of crisis for one in six Ontario children," says Christine Allard, President of CUPE 2049 representing workers at Nipissing and Parry Sound Children's Aid Society. "Yet a faulty funding formula has for years plagued these agencies, plunging CAS into chronic deficits, creating unacceptable wait lists for children's mental health services and jeopardizing services to children and families, including those in the north and First Nations communities."

While child abuse is estimated to cost Canadians over $15.5 billion a year, Ontario Children's Aid is successfully keeping more children safe with their families with a budget that represents only 1.2% of 2008-09 provincial program spending, according to a brief to be submitted at the hearings by CUPE Ontario's social service workers. It also cites an Ontario Auditor General report estimating that only one in six children in need are receiving mental health services.

CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn, who will present at the pre-budget hearings in Toronto next week, applauds the Ontario government's new full day learning program for four and five year olds, but stresses that the province's child care system needs immediate attention. "It is child care that enables working families to remain active participants in the labour market. Every dollar invested in child care increases GDP by $2.30 and job generation is four times greater with a $1 million investment in child care versus the same amount invested in traditional hard infrastructure."

At this deputation:

  Date: Thursday, January 28, 2010
  Time: 9:00 – 9:15 a.m.
  Location: Hampton Inn
    950 McKeown Avenue, North Bay

Speakers will be:

  • Christine Allard, President of CUPE 2049 representing workers at Nipissing & Parry Sound Children's Aid Society
  • Aubrey Gonsalves, CUPE Ontario Social Service Sector Committee representative, and President of CUPE 2316 representing workers at Toronto Children's Aid Society.

Contact Information

  • CUPE 2049
    Christine Allard
    705-358-5887 (cell)
    CUPE Ontario
    Fred Hahn
    416-540-3979 (cell)
    Wynne Hartviksen
    416-473-2632 (cell)