TORONTO If this is a bailout, pass me a lifejacket. That reaction comes today from the CUPE Locals representing Toronto civic employees.
CUPE Local 79 President Ann Dembinski says, Torontonians need to understand that there are still $137 million worth of cuts to programs and services that are going ahead. This announcement does nothing to alleviate those cuts. The blood is already on the floor.
Dembinski says, This isnt even a band-aid. Its one-year, one-time only and most of it doesnt even seem to be new money.
Local 416 President Brian Cochrane says, The so-called new money from Queens Park announced by Mayor Lastman today in no way provides a sustainable solution to the citys budget woes.
Canadas largest city needs a long-term, stable funding arrangement with the provincial government. Toronto needs a fair deal, and todays announcement is not it.
Other significant problems with the announcement include:
- It does not address the current problem with access to commercial taxes;
- Programs that have been around for 80 years are still being cut, such as libraries, nutritional and dental programs, arenas, pools, grass cutting, garbage and recycling;
- It does not address the additional costs of services that have been downloaded from the province, such as housing, transit and child care;
- Monies announced to fix potholes and repair infrastructure appear to be tied to the Super Build Fund, which is designed to encourage privatization of public services.
Brian Cochrane, President
Toronto Civic Employees Union
CUPE Local 416
(416) 271-6538 (Cell)
CUPE Local 79
CUPE Communications Rep.
(416) 292-3999 (o)
(416) 200-6126 (Cell)