TORONTO – The Government of Ontario is taking the unprecedented step of holding no public pre-budget hearings, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario has learned.
“This is a real slap in the face of democracy,” says CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn. “The Liberals are proposing a radical restructuring of our public service including massive service cuts, new user fees, widespread contracting out and privatization of important public services, and they don’t want to hear from the public and experts? That’s not just foolish, it’s wrong.”
The government has always held pre-budget consultations in communities across Ontario prior to setting its budget numbers. This gives the public, stakeholders and experts province-wide a chance to have input into their province’s finances and fiscal priorities. Earlier today, the Standing Committee on Finance and Public Affairs met and made the decision to not hold public consultations.
CUPE has been advised that both the Liberal and Conservative members of the Committee supported this decision.
“The Ontario government appears to be on a dangerous course that will cost families more, put people out of work and hurt our communities and our economy. They need to hear from Ontarians. They need to hear options, such as our plan to fix the deficit through new revenue sources that won’t affect ordinary Ontarians. As a province, we need to create jobs and build the economy while preserving quality public services,” said Hahn.
CUPE Ontario represents 230,000 workers in healthcare, education, post-education, municipalities and social services across the province.
For more information, please contact:
President, CUPE Ontario
CUPE Communications Representative