CUPE members take pride in delivering quality public services. With incomes close to the Canadian average, our members depend on quality public services to maintain their standard of living, as do all Canadians.
As Canadians, we help each other in our communities and as a country. We help each other because it’s in our nature—and because we know if someone lives in poverty, in sickness or without a decent education, it holds us all back as a nation.
Our progress has been held back by inequality and an increasingly unbalanced economy.
We need increased stimulus and infrastructure investment, but we also need fundamental changes. To achieve sustained economic growth we must work together to diversify and grow our economy, improve public services, generate good quality jobs, reduce inequality and transition to a more sustainable economy.
Recommendations for the federal budget:
- An increase in federal infrastructure spending, mainly for public transit, green and social infrastructure, and particularly for those most in need, including affordable housing, transition homes, child care centres, senior’s facilities, and community and cultural facilities.
- Infrastructure funding that supports a long-term plan to reduce our emissions and generate good quality jobs. The federal government, and other levels, should demonstrate leadership by ensuring all public buildings and facilities are constructed or retrofitted to high environmental standards.
- All federal infrastructure funding should be tied to environmental, climate change and social requirements. In the short term, we support the government providing more than a one-third share tied to achieving environmental and broader social objectives, including decent wages, labour rights, pay equity, and opportunities for apprentices and equity-seeking groups.
- A dedicated fund, established by the federal government, to support the public wastewater infrastructure investments required to meet the new national wastewater regulations. It should also increase funding for First Nations water and wastewater.
- The elimination of PPP Canada, redirecting the P3 Fund to public infrastructure projects. It should also introduce comprehensive P3 accountability and transparency legislation. The Canada Infrastructure Bank should not be another vehicle to subsidize high cost private finance.
- Acceleration of planned changes to the Employment Insurance program.
- Restored funding in training and labour force development, with emphasis on literacy and essential skills development.
- The federal government should work with provinces and territories to establish and fund a national affordable and public, non-profit early childhood education and care system, with a distinct system for Indigenous communities.
- The reduction and ultimately elimination of undergraduate university and college tuition fees.
- Demonstrated leadership by the federal government in achieving a universal expansion of the Canada Pension Plan, instead of deferring to piecemeal and provincial measures.
- A new health accord with significant annual funding increases strictly tied to enforcement of the Canada Health Act, as well as improvements and expansion of the public health care system, including a national Pharmacare program.
- A commitment by the federal government to a ten-year timetable to increase our international development assistance budget and to dedicate at least half to least developed countries.
- An end to trade deals that expand corporate power at the expense of jobs, wages, the environment and our democratic sovereignty. We oppose ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, CETA and other deals.
- Increased tax fairness with the priority on broadening the base, by eliminating regressive tax loopholes such as the stock option deduction, tackling tax evasion, and moving towards higher taxation of both corporate and capital income.