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Federal budget 2005
Make this the communities budget, CUPE leader urges

OTTAWA The 2005 federal budget must build communities, not back corporations, said CUPE National President Paul Moist as Canadas largest union presented its pre-budget submission to the federal finance committee.

The 2005 federal budget can rebuild strong communities across the country by investing public resources in public services, said Moist. Polls show that Canadians want public services in public hands, whether its child care, municipal infrastructure or health care. Next years budget must reflect that.

Moist noted that the critical component for strong and healthy communities is for public bodies to carefully administer public funds for physical and social infrastructure (for example, water services and child care). This will assure long-lasting, reliable quality public services for vital local economies, he said.

The federal budget must not redirect precious program and infrastructure dollars to more expensive, for-profit schemes, said Moist. It must not back corporate profits by encouraging contracting out or facilitating so-called public private partnerships (P3s).

Public child care and a real new deal for cities top CUPEs concerns for next years budget. Moist said that the 2005 federal budget must deliver on a quality, pan-Canadian child care system that is publicly delivered, not-for-profit and with sufficient funding and good wages and working conditions for such critical work.

On cities, Moist said CUPE supports the big-city mayors call for money to roll out faster than pledge by the federal government currently plans. The federal government must tackle the current $60 billion infrastructure deficit by providing the big cities their full portion of the fuel tax in the 2005 budget, rather than limiting the transfers to a portion of the tax on gas only and phasing it in slowly over four years. The infrastructure deficit grows by about $2 billion per year.

Accountability in federal-provincial funding transfers is central to CUPEs budget submission, said Moist.

There is a disturbing trend developing in federal-provincial relations whereby the feds hand out money without conditions or enforceable principles, Moist said. This risks entrenching a patchwork nation and fails to build a collective community thats healthy, equal and inclusive.

The key to next years budget, said Moist, will be found in the federal governments commitment to public delivery of community-building public services.


Paul Moist, CUPE National President, cell (613) 558-2873;
Claude Gnreux, CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer (porte-parole francophone), cell (613) 794-8395;
David Robbins, CUPE Communications, cell (613) 878-1431