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CORNER BROOK CUPE NL President Wayne Lucas has told the province’s 2015 Pre-Budget Consultations that Newfoundland and Labrador must invest in infrastructure, like a new hospital in Corner Brook and municipal drinking water systems in rural communities.

Said Lucas, “Spending cuts will deepen our economic and social problems, not help resolve them. At the same time, our province’s tax system must be made fairer and more progressive.

“Surely the finance minister and the current government must realize that the worst possible direction they could take right now would be more cutbacks and austerity.

“Even Stephen Harper realized after the collapse back in 2008 that the public sector had a critically important role to play in buoying up the economy. In fact, his government introduced a huge infrastructure initiative,” said Lucas.

 “We all know the price of oil will go up again eventually, and government shouldn’t panic and listen to the likes of the Board of Trade or the CFIB, who are looking for cuts even in the best of times,”

CUPE is also urging the province to invest in public services like child care, and public pension plans that provide retirement security for everyone.

Lucas also applauded former premier Tom Marshall’s decision to protect the defined benefit nature of the provincial pension plan.

CUPE’s submission can be found here.