A new report by the Financial Accountability Office (FAO) of Ontario about significant job losses underscores the need for greater supports for workers and to bolster public services, says CUPE Ontario. 

“The job losses are a clear indictment of the Ford government mishandling of this pandemic, and a reminder of what we need today,” said Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario. “While so many are suffering, and without work, huge corporations are actually increasing their profits during COVID 19. We need to raise taxes on the wealthiest Ontarians, and on corporations profiting from the pandemic, to pay for the critical public services people rely on. We need to create jobs to enhance services so badly needed in our communities and provide job opportunities to Ontarians who’ve lost their jobs.”

CUPE Ontario has previously noted that, unlike other provinces, the Ford Conservatives are not providing direct income supports for unemployed workers or providing other necessary help to those who have lost their incomes. The union also condemns the Ford government for voting against a ban on evictions yesterday, a “shameful decision that is a direct threat on the victims of Ford’s inaction”, according to Hahn.

CUPE Ontario has been calling on the Conservatives to ensure that the upcoming spring Budget shores up public services. Thousands of Personal Support Workers are needed in Long-Term Care, thousands of contact tracers are needed for public health units, more education workers are needed to restructure schools to make them safe, and more, according to the union.

In order to counter the loss of jobs in communities, CUPE Ontario is also calling on Ontario to create new training opportunities.

“The province needs to use public colleges and other public methods to train unemployed workers up to take on these desperately-needed roles in the fight against this raging global pandemic,” said Candace Rennick, Secretary-Treasurer of CUPE Ontario.