Jagmeet SinghWith the federal election less than two weeks away, CUPE members got an energetic start to their day with a rousing speech from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh.

Singh praised CUPE’s and the NDP’s shared history of fighting for workers and thanked the eight CUPE members and staff who are running for the NDP across Canada. And he took aim at the tax loopholes that corporations and the wealthiest have exploited under Liberal and Conservative governments.

“All Canadians pitch in so that we can count on public services, but there’s a problem: not everyone is paying their fair share,” said Singh. “It’s costing Canadians $25 billion a year. That’s billions being siphoned away from health care, child care, and expanding public services.”

The remedy, Singh says, is to crack down on tax evasion, close tax loopholes for the wealthy, and impose a 1-per-cent tax on wealth over $20 million - something the Liberals and Conservatives refuse to do.

Delegates applauded Singh’s announcement that an NDP government would establish national standards and funding levels for long-term care and enshrine them under the Canada Health Act.

Singh also drew a contrast between Justin Trudeau’s promises and his actions, noting that on key issues like workers’ rights, climate change, electoral reform, and reconciliation, Trudeau has consistently said one thing and then done the opposite.

Elections are like sitting at the bargaining table, said Singh. “CUPE members know that if we accept less now, things will only get worse four years down the road. I don’t want Canada to settle for less. And I know we don’t have to.”

Singh contrasted the NDP’s plan for universal pharmacare and dental care, strong climate action, and real reconciliation, with Trudeau’s record of broken promises. “Time and time again, Mr. Trudeau chooses the wealthy and the powerful over you,” said Singh. “We can have different results – if we have the courage to make a different choice.”

CUPE strongly encourages members to vote for their local NDP candidate. Read up and get involved at cupe.ca/cupe-votes.