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Support public services in the forthcoming federal budget, CUPE National President Paul Moist told Conservative Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty in a letter sent today.

Quality public services not only directly improve our quality of life but also play an extremely important role in stimulating the economy and increasing the productivity of individual Canadians and businesses,” Moist wrote.

Numerous studies have shown that public investments in infrastructure, education, child care and health services generate double-digit rates of return for the economy,” the letter stated. “Investments in public services simply make sense for both social and economic reasons.”

Federal program spending per person in Canada is still much lower than what it was during the entire period of the last federal Conservative government, despite concerns today about “out of control” spending, Moist added.

He went on to outline CUPE’s key concerns. These include:

  • Choosing real investment in public services over tax cuts that primarily benefit the wealthy;
  • Continuing the funding for a national child care program;
  • Investing in Aboriginal communities as laid out in the recent Kelowna accord;
  • Increasing public investment in education and skills training;
  • Enforcing the Canada Health Act to stop the growth of for-profit health care;
  • Increasing the federal transfer to cities and communities;
  • Subsidizing public transit and renewable energy not giant oil corporations; and,
  • Increasing untied overseas development assistance to alleviate global poverty.