OTTAWA – It’s time to rebuild strong communities with public investment and clear conditions on how the money is spent, said CUPE National President Paul Moist as the Liberal government prepares its 2005 federal budget.
“After years of surpluses, it’s time to rebuild strong communities across the country with public investment for public services,” Moist said. “The federal government must place accountability – not private profit – at the heart of its budget by setting clear conditions for funding.”
Moist said that federal Finance Minister Ralph Goodale can ensure accountability by establishing clear enforcement and monitoring mechanisms when transferring funds for programs like child care, health care and the new deal for cities.
“Billions of federal tax money is going to provinces for programs but there is no accountability back to Parliament for this spending,” Moist said. “Goodale must provide guarantees that the money will be used for public programs, not to pad private profits.”
Public child care and a good deal for cities top CUPE’s concerns for the budget. Moist anticipated the budget will repeat spending announcements and commitments already made for child care, cities and other areas. Moist also supported recent demands that the federal government increase funding to groups fighting women’s economic insecurity.
“This year’s budget must break the Liberal logjam on child care by directing public money to the expansion of a public, not-for-profit system,” he said. “It’s time for the federal government to move ahead with the provinces that are committed to building such a system.”
On cities, Moist supports the call for stable funding for municipalities. But he urged that public investment go to public delivery of services and not to private profits, whether through private public partnerships (P3s) or other privatization schemes.
“Stable funding is good,” he said. “Placing clear conditions on that funding and being publicly accountable is even better.”
Paul Moist, National President, cell (613) 558-2873;
Claude Généreux, National Secretary-Treasurer (porte-parole francophone), cell (613) 794-8395;
David Robbins, CUPE Communications, cell (613) 878-1431