Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

August 17, 2011 10:11 ET

Province Must Fund Vital Municipal Services to Avoid Drastic Cuts to Public Services

Premier McGuinty needs to stand for public services in talks with Rob Ford today

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 17, 2011) - Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario, says Premier Dalton McGuinty needs to show real leadership to protect vital public municipal services as he sits down with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford today.

"The time has come for Dalton McGuinty to show real leadership and properly fund the vital, public municipal services Ontarians need," said Hahn. "It's not just Torontonians but Ontarians who are shocked by the types of cuts being discussed by the Ford administration in Toronto. Frankly, the provincial underfunding of municipal services for years by successive Conservative and Liberal governments has opened the door for the types of cuts being proposed by Ford."

In recent months the City of Toronto, under Mayor Rob Ford, has contemplated radical cuts to public services including the closure of libraries, publically run childcare centers and long-term care homes. The city has already cut public transit routes, embarked on a controversial plan to contract-out solid waste collection and is reviewing a report recommending the possible sell-off of the revenue generating Public Parking Authority, all while threatening funding cuts for social services, community, arts and heritage programs.

"The Ford administration is clearly creating a crisis to fulfill its ideologically driven agenda of privatization, contracting-out and cuts to public services but it is not the only municipality making cuts to the services people need. For too long, Ontario's municipalities have been starved of vital funding for key municipal services by both the federal and provincial governments. As we approach this fall's provincial election, it is time for Dalton McGuinty to tell us what his plans are for Ontario's municipalities before we see an agenda of cuts roll across Ontario's towns and cities."

Both opposition parties have already made major policy announcements for municipalities in lead up to the provincial election on October 6th as the governing Liberal party has been quiet on this important policy front. While the Conservative platform of Tim Hudak would only expand cuts and contract out of vital public services, Hahn points out the Ontario NDP under Andrea Horwath have put out practical plans that assist municipalities and Ontarians.

"Andrea Horwath's and the Ontario NDP's pledge to match municipal funding for public transit, if municipalities agree to freeze transit fees for riders, is the kind of practical solutions Ontarians needs," said Hahn. "It restores the historic provincial funding of public transit that was in place until it was cut by the Conservatives in 1998 and recognizes the real financial crunch being faced by Ontario families. These are the kind of changes we need to build a better Ontario."

Contact Information

  • Fred Hahn
    CUPE Ontario

    Ryan LeClaire
    CUPE Communications