Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

June 22, 2012 17:53 ET

North needs public transit: CUPE Ontario President joining rally to save Ontario Northland

SUDBURY, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 22, 2012) - The president of Ontario's largest union will join labour and community leaders from across the province in Sudbury tomorrow for a rally to save Ontario Northland.

"The Liberals have turned their backs on the North time and again," says Fred Hahn, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario. "Northerners are taxpayers and deserve equal treatment by the provincial government. Many people use Ontario Northland, and will need these services even more thanks to the provincial budget, which will move health services from community hospitals to major urban centres. Northerners need public transportation systems with stable funding every bit as much as people do in the South."

The rally is being organized by the General Chairpersons Association, an umbrella group of unions at Ontario Northland (CAW, USW, Teamsters and IBEW). Hahn and CUPE Ontario, which does not represent ONTC workers, have been outspoken opponents of Liberal plans to sell off Ontario Northland and other public services that are necessary to communities across the North.

"This austerity agenda that Dalton McGuinty is forcing on us will really hurt Northern communities," says Henri Giroux, president of the North Bay Labour Council and a CUPE Ontario vice-president. "We're losing hospital beds and schools, now they're selling off Ontario Northland, which helps tie our communities together. If Dalton McGuinty actually spent some time in the North, he might start to understand what we need."

Buses will bring rally participants from communities across Northern Ontario that will be affected by the Ontario Northland sale.

WHO: Fred Hahn, President, CUPE Ontario; Jenny Ahn, Director of Government Affairs, CAW; Brian Kelly, GCA General Chairperson and President, CAW Local 103; Jamie West, Sudbury Labour Council; Ben Lefebvre, President, Timmins Labour Council; George Cole, Ontario Northland Pensioners Association; Irene Smit, North Bay Chamber of Commerce; Ross Terry, Teamsters Canada Rail Conference; Brendan Lehman, Graduate Students' Association, GCA; Wess Dowsett, Area Coordinator, United Steelworkers Local 2020
WHAT: Rally - We Want a New Deal for Ontario Northland
WHEN: Saturday, June 23 at 11:00 a.m.
WHERE: Laurentian University

CUPE Ontario represents more than 230,000 workers, including more than 18,000 in Northern Ontario, in five main sectors: health care, municipalities, school boards, social services and post-secondary education.

Contact Information

  • CUPE Communications
    Craig Saunders