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TorontoCanadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) members across Ontario are the workers who witness first hand the devastation and suffering caused by the hurtful policies and program funding cuts of the Harris government.

Within our union there are many members saying they can no longer stand idly by and watch the polarization of people in our society, under this uncaring government. Under the Tory watch we have seen more children live in poverty, more people without shelter, a growing disparity between rich and poor and people dying because of tainted water than at any other time.

CUPE will continue to fight for a just and caring society and continue to support the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) and the important work the group does in advocating for the poor and marginalized, says Sid Ryan the Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

After years of Tory government funding cuts to organizations that help the poor, the homeless and new immigrants, there are few community groups with enough resources to continue this very important work.

We see how vital the services OCAP provides are. CUPEs support for OCAP will cease when enough public housing is built to shelter the homeless, when rent controls are restored, when 2,000 people a month are no longer evicted, when social programs are restored and when the Tories raise the minimum wage to a living wage in this province.

If the Tories would address the poverty crisis they have created with adequate social programs then there wouldnt be any need for an organization like OCAP, because we would be living in a caring and just society, says Ryan.

He points out that the interfaith community, which would at other times be doing this needed work in our communities is nowhere to be seen. They should be blasting this government from the pulpit. Getting in the governments face and holding the Harris Tories responsible for the misery they are causing people. Instead they are turning their backs on our most vulnerable people at a time when our government just plain doesnt give a damn, says Ryan.


For more information please contact:
Sid Ryan, President CUPE Ontario
(416) 209-0066
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications
(416) 578-8774