OTTAWA – The top leaders of Canada’s largest union are urging members outside of Quebec to support the New Democratic Party in the Jan. 23 federal election.
“Neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives have policies that will benefit CUPE members or working families,” the national executive board of the Canadian Union of Public Employees said in a statement released today.
“Electing more NDP members to the next Parliament will mean that our voices will be heard,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist. “We will be able to protect public health care, create a universal child care program, finance public infrastructure, protect pensions, oppose corporate tax cuts and invest in social programs.”
Outside Quebec, CUPE’s board endorsed the NDP as the best choice to represent the interests of working families. Their board called on CUPE members outside Quebec to rally behind NDP candidates and to work towards electing as many as possible.
In the last Parliament, the NDP showed that it could be effective in implementing policies that benefit CUPE members and their families and balance out the Liberals’ privatization agenda.
“Privatization of public services is now proceeding at an alarming pace,” Moist said. “In health care alone, the increase in for-profit private clinics for surgery and diagnostic services demonstrates just how seriously the Liberals have dropped the health care ball by not enforcing the Canada Health Act.”
After 12 years in power, the Liberals have shown that they don’t represent working people. They have left behind a trail of broken commitments, Moist said, noting that there is still no real national child care program, and that for-profit delivery of child care is certain if governments refuse to put restrictions on funding.
“Voting Liberal to stop Conservatives won’t work,” Moist said. “A Conservative government led by Stephen Harper would dismantle many progressive social and economic programs.”
The only alternative to the Conservatives is a strong NDP in the House of Commons, he added, noting that a Conservative government would assimilate our country even faster into the United States. That would speed up the integration of our economies and virtually merging our foreign policies.
“Harper has made clear he would tear up international environmental initiatives like the Kyoto accord on climate change and cancel funding to meet Aboriginal needs,” Moist said. “Seniors, women, Aboriginal communities, students, persons with disabilities, and all working families will be worse off with a Conservative government.”
CUPE has long supported the historical right of Quebecers to self-determination in political matters. CUPE’s board respects the political choice of CUPE members in Quebec.
CUPE national president
(613) 558-2873 (cell)
CUPE national secretary-treasurer (porte-parole francophone)
(514) 884-5074 (cell)
(613) 878-1431 (cell)