Warning message

Please note that this page is from our archives. There may be more up-to-date content about this topic on our website. Use our search engine to find out.
OTTAWA The federal budget will speed the privatization of health care and public water systems, according to Canada’s largest union. The Canadian Union of Public Employees says the budget funnels social spending through big business, which means services will suffer to bolster corporate profits.

After ten years of broken promises, CUPE National President Judy Darcy says she’s pleased the federal government has finally found money for social programs, especially child care. But she says today’s budget doesn’t erase Jean Chrt0069en’s real legacy a decade of budget cuts that have been devastating for Canadians. “After years of bread and water, a Timbit looks like a feast,” says Darcy.

While the new spending is welcome, Darcy says the real budget story lies just beneath the surface: corporate leaders will make huge profits from Canadians’ hard-earned social programs. “When you strip away all the spin, this budget puts more money into the pockets of big business than it does into services,” says Darcy. “It allows corporations to cream off fat profits while leaving many Canadians out in the cold.”

The federal government has put no restrictions on new health spending to ensure that health dollars are earmarked for public, not-for-profit delivery. And the situation is worse still in urban services where public-private partnerships are being pushed as the way to rebuild Canada’s water systems, roads and infrastructure.

“John Manley is just proving he’s Paul Martin’s clone,” says Darcy, “funneling tax dollars into schemes that make corporations richer while providing fewer, poorer and more costly public services.”

Darcy represents over half a million workers, mostly in fields that are directly affected by today’s budget: health care, child care, post-secondary education and urban infrastructure. She says CUPE members will continue to press for adequate federal funding while redoubling their battle for accountability over how our public money is spent.

“Canadians are clear,” says Darcy. “They want their tax dollars spent on public services, not corporate profits.”


For further information, contact:
Kaj Hasselriis, CUPE Communications,
(613) 798-6925
Robert Fox, CUPE Communications,
(613) 795-4977 or (613) 237-1590 ext. 264