CUPE’s election leaflet encourages CUPE members to get involved in the current election: Know the facts. Contact your local NDP candidate. Most importantly, vote. Don’t let Stephen Harper sell what generations of Canadians have paid for.
Stephen Harper has been endangering our future by weakening Canada’s public services. But our economy is shaky. Energy and food prices are rising. Wages have barely increased in the last 25 years. Canada has lost 400,000 manufacturing jobs since 2002. Part-time jobs are rapidly replacing fulltime jobs. Economic inequality among Canadians is rising.
Meanwhile, tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest have reduced public spending. Can the Conservatives be trusted to look out for the interests of the average worker? The answer is no. In hard economic times, working people will be left behind.
The Harper government wants to put our public services up for sale. Privatization threatens every aspect of our lives: the water we drink; our health care services; our education and community services; our cultural sector. Yet the Conservatives are actively promoting public private partnerships (P3s). A P3 is when a public institution agrees to pay a private company to build, operate (and sometimes fund and own) a facility or service that would normally belong in public hands. P3s lack quality, take power away from communities, and often cost more than publicly controlled projects. So why is the Harper gang using our money to strong arm Canadians into privatization? With their Building Canada Fund, the Conservative government funds communities willing to consider public private partnerships (P3s), while making things hard for local governments who refuse.
The Conservatives have shown a complete lack of leadership when it comes to health care. Harper has done nothing while fi ve million Canadians are without a family physician. There are many proven public solutions for improving our health care system, but the Conservatives only see one option: private, for-profi t health services. In fact, the number of private clinics has increased dramatically on their watch. Canadians are proud of our universal, single-tier health care system. We need a leader who will work to keep and improve it, not chip it away.
The Conservatives have said that the environment is a priority, yet under Harper, Canada has rejected global progress on climate change. In fact, some provincial governments are spending more on greenhouse gas reduction than our entire federal budget. Canadians need real solutions for climate change, including national plans to improve public transit and cut greenhouse gasses.
Early childhood education is essential to support parents’ employment and learning, and an important tool to fi ght poverty. Yet our country is lagging behind. Before the Tories came to power, Canadians were very close to receiving a national child care program. Instead, Stephen Harper gave us a pitiful monthly allowance – and no new child care spaces. This does nothing to address the need for child care in our country.