Tomorrow’s Fall Budget is an opportunity for the Government of Ontario to lay out a spending plan that will protect and support Ontarians, says CUPE Ontario.

“We need a change of course starting tomorrow,” said Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario. “The Ford Conservatives have expertly played a game of sleight of hand over the last eight months, leading many Ontarians to believe they’ve taken action to keep us safe and to support people impacted by the economic fallout. But the reality is they have fallen far short of providing what Ontarians need.”

The government, according to Hahn, has failed to ensure adequate testing and contact tracing; keep schools safe; order private industries to produce N95 masks; and attract and retain long-term care workers with good wages and full-time jobs.

“I could go on,” said Hahn. “Premier Ford was wrong when he said raising taxes isn’t the answer. Corporations and the wealthiest in our communities, who are doing better than ever, must pay their fair share, now more than ever, to fund the public services we rely on.”

Hahn is calling on the government to immediately spend the $9.3 billion of unspent collective resources and raise revenues with a progressive tax on corporate profits and the wealthiest in Ontario. These funds, he says, would be used to reverse previous cuts to services; support a minimum long-term care standard of four hours daily per resident; fund municipalities to ensure that public services are not cut; and expand testing and lab capacity, among other proposals.

“It’s simple: spending saves lives,” said Hahn. “Tomorrow, we need a budget that works for all Ontarians, not just for large and profitable corporations. We need a plan that protects us, not one that neglects us. This is their second chance during a second wave to get the budget right.”