From parents on social assistance to workers making minimum wage, working families are being told to wait years before they can benefit from McGuinty’s provincial budget tabled today, according to Ontario’s largest union.
“If you’re a parent on social assistance, you were promised four years ago that the clawback of the national child benefit supplement would be ended,” says Sid Ryan, President of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario. “Now parents are being told they will need to wait another five years before it is fully eliminated. That’s a nine year promise and that’s unacceptable.”
“For those on social assistance, including Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Plan, today’s increase of a miserly 2% will mean that the purchasing power of the welfare cheque today is worth less than when Mike Harris left office, once you factor in inflation,” says Ryan. “This is a disgraceful indictment of the McGuinty Liberals.”
“If you’re a worker making minimum wage, you’re being told that you will have to wait three years before you can make a $10.00 minimum wage. Try telling that to the 1.2 million people earning less than $10.00 an hour who are trying to escape the poverty trap.”
School board workers had hoped that, with a federal infusion of $1.1 billion Canadian Social Transfer to Ontario announced in Monday’s federal budget, McGuinty would free up the estimated $375 million desperately needed for school operations.
“There is nothing in this budget to settle growing labour unrest among school board workers, some of whom are already on strike because they are burnt out from being overworked,” says Ryan.
“McGuinty’s Liberals didn’t wait to implement an immediate 25% wage increase for well-heeled politicians, yet have no qualms imposing wait times on Ontario’s poor,” he added.