While yesterday’s budget was definitely a good sales pitch it won’t heal the broken bond of trust between the Liberals and the people of Ontario, says CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn.
“After decades of cuts and ignoring people’s needs, eleventh hour promises only feed voter cynicism and that is really sad,” says Hahn. “There is no question there is some much needed investment for public services in this budget, but where has this government been for the past 15 years? We’ve been calling for these kind of investment for years and I’m sorry but they’re a decade late and several pounds short as my mother used to say.”
According to today’s budget, Ontario’s economy is strong and doing better than the rest of Canada and all G7 nations, yet the government continues to spend less per capita on programs and services than any other province.
“There is a reason why most Ontarians don’t feel like they are benefitting from our growing economy,” says Hahn. “People are struggling with incomes that aren’t keeping up with rising costs and when they reach for the services that are supposed to be there to help, they end up on a waiting list or a stretcher in a hallway.”
“We need a government that is truly committed to investing in the programs that will make our lives easier with a plan to move us forward not piecemeal promises designed to win votes,” says Hahn. “And if we really are going to make the investments we need, it’s time to start having an honest conversation about the revenue problem we have in this province.”
“It used to be that individuals and corporations paid the same amount in taxes. At that point our economy was thriving and it was working for everyone,” says Hahn. “These days individuals are paying three and half times more in taxes than banks and corporations. That’s just wrong. If we’re going to build a fair and caring society, big corporations are going to have to start paying their fair share.”