Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

May 02, 2013 16:15 ET

North Bay: Liberal budget choices ignore human tragedies

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 2, 2013) - With today's provincial budget, the Ontario Liberals chose to ignore the mounting human tragedies in communities across the province, said Fred Hahn, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario.

"Jocelyn Dickson died in a Toronto long-term care home because of understaffing. Amanda and Alex Telford in Ottawa had to give up their son, who has autism, after 10 years of waiting for care. That's not supposed to happen in Ontario," said Hahn. "These are real human tragedies, and they're just the tip of the iceberg. Thirty bed closures and 100 jobs cut at the Trillium Health Centre in Toronto were reported just today. You can't tell me that won't affect care."

In recent days, the effects of Liberal budget cuts have become painfully apparent. TELCI, an agency providing residential care for adults with developmental disabilities in Ottawa is closing its doors because of inadequate funding. An already strained children's aid agency in Hamilton this week became the latest in a list of agencies announcing layoffs because of budget cuts. And this week alone a further nine hospitals have announced bed closures and staff cuts.

"These tragedies don't need to happen. Even Liberal backbenchers are asking the government to increase revenue through corporate taxes," said Hahn. "That's what still needs to happen in this budget."

Health care and other public service cuts have been particularly hard on rural and northern communities, which also face an economic loss with the sale of Ontario Northland.

The last premier treated the north with no respect. Premier Wynne must pay attention to the needs of northern communities. A good first step would be to immediately halt the signing of the contract to CADS Rail and have the work directed to Ontario Northland, providing an overall net benefit to Ontario," said Henri Giroux, a CUPE Ontario vice-president and president of the North Bay District Labour Council.

CUPE Ontario members provide the public services our communities rely on every day. Members across the province work in social services, health care, municipalities, school boards and universities.

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