In the June 12 election, Ontario voters chose a Liberal government that campaigned against cuts to public-sector jobs and services. It will take strong political will for the government to do the right thing and move away from the Liberal history of program cuts, says CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn, who was at Queen’s Park for today’s throne speech.
“Ontarians believe by voting Liberal they were voting against cuts to public services and jobs. But without measures to pay for new programs, this government will resort to huge cuts to vital public services and selling off public assets,” he said. “The only way for Kathleen Wynne to keep her promises to build Ontario up, while balancing the budget and without making cuts to public services, is to make profitable corporations pay their fair share by fully restoring the corporate tax rate.”
Successive Liberal governments have cut corporate taxes to their lowest level since the 1930s, taking billions away from education, health care, social services and the infrastructure investments Kathleen Wynne campaigned on. At the same time, they have restrained spending so that Ontario now spends less per capita on public services than other provinces.
“There’s no room left to cut, and selling revenue-generating assets is a fool’s game,” said Hahn. “Communities across the province are already losing hospital beds and seeing child protection agencies close thanks to the cuts.”
“People didn’t vote for more public service cuts, and they didn’t vote for more privatization or a fire sale of public assets. If Kathleen Wynne wants to build the better Ontario people voted for, she will have to address the revenue problem in next week’s budget,” said Hahn. “That would be a clear signal that the Liberals are moving away from the mistakes of the McGuinty era, and it would put Ontario on a stronger footing for the future.”
For more information, please contact:
Craig Saunders, CUPE Communications, 416-576-7316