Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

November 22, 2011 18:02 ET

Throne Speech charts dangerous course for Ontario economy

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 22, 2011) - Dalton McGuinty has betrayed the trust of who voted for him by adopting Tim Hudak's agenda of cuts in today's Speech from the Throne, says Fred Hahn, President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario.

The speech continued the planned 5 per cent cut to the public service and announced a further 2 per cent cut by 2014. With inflation and population growth, these budget rollbacks will require massive cuts to the public services Ontarians rely on and widespread job loss.

"In the speech, the government said they want to support good jobs. Legislating unemployment through slashing the public sector is no way to support good jobs," said Hahn after the speech. "The majority of Ontarians voted against the Tories' agenda of cuts which Mr. McGuinty seems to have forgotten."

In addition to spending cuts, the throne speech did not include new money for Ontario's ailing child care system and drove a final nail into the coffin of the seamless, full-day early learning system the Liberals had promised.

"They've turned their backs on their promise of full-day early learning in the school system, leaving us with a failing patchwork of child care. Families will be left scrambling as child care centres, abandoned by this government, begin to close. Adding insult to injury, the only jobs the government will be promoting will be contracted out, low paid, temporary and part time," said Hahn.

The Throne Speech comes before tomorrow's fall economic outlook and before the Drummond Commission releases its report on what public services to reduce or eliminate. CUPE Ontario is concerned that the commission, chaired by former TD Bank Chief Economist Don Drummond, does not have the expertise to evaluate social program delivery and does not have the ability to suggest new sources of revenue, like corporate taxes, that could preserve public services.

In the last two years, Ontario has given large corporations about $2 billion in tax cuts, all of which has come at the expense of Ontarians who continue to see the erosion of services while household expenses rise. A 2010 report from KPMG evaluated total corporate taxation for major economies and found that corporations in Canada pay significantly less than their counterparts in any of the major countries studied, with the exception of Mexico. Recent studies show corporate tax giveaways have not resulted in significant investment in job growth in Ontario.

"They're robbing the future of the vast majority of Ontarians to line the pockets of a very small corporate elite," says Hahn. "The Occupy movement gets it. Warren Buffet gets it. Even Bill Clinton and others in the 1% are starting to get it. It's time for Dalton McGuinty to get it: It's time to support the vast majority of Ontarians, not just the rich."

"It is a mistake to just look for cuts, without looking seriously at the other side of the ledger - revenue. Government must also consider the short- and long-term social and economic impacts that cuts will have, and what opportunities will be lost for Ontarians," says Hahn.

Contact Information

  • Fred Hahn
    CUPE Ontario President
    416-540-3979

    Craig Saunders
    CUPE Communications Representative
    416-576-7316