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Toronto—Today, at a deputation to the Your Bright Ideas budget consultation tour, Sid Ryan, the Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), shed light on the shady economics of private hospital deals, the dim reality of electricity deregulation and the dark educational future facing our bright young minds.

Ive said this before; tax cuts are like a leach sucking the lifeblood from our social programs. And unless this next tax cut is scrapped, our social programs will be decimated. Tax cuts, coupled with electricity competition, means these Tory bright lights will drag this province back to the economic dark ages, said Ryan.

Personal and corporate tax deductions have already cost our province $47 billion. Its time to turn this province around by investing vigorously to restore public services and public infrastructure.

In addition to axing tax cuts and deregulation, Ryan urged the government to stop financing hospital construction through private, for-profit deals. In Britain, private hospitals are costly long-term deals that have resulted in fewer beds for patients and diminished services.

The sick and vulnerable dont benefit from private hospitals, but the shareholders of the for-profit company rake in returns of 15-20 per cent. Government auditors everywhere are showing that these public, private partnerships are shifty deals that wind up costing more than if the public sector built the facilities, stressed Ryan.

He also exposed the faulty logic of government funding private education by way of tax credits that will, when fully implemented, divert nearly a billion dollars from the public school system. Funding to post-secondary must also be increased and private universities nixed. System-wide, there is a base funding shortfall of $100 million a year and there has been an 18 per cent reduction to university operating grants per student.

Educators at both levels of the system are screaming there isnt enough money being put into public education to ensure quality and access for our all students. The course is simple, keep education public, end the tax credit for private schools and establish funding formulas that will restore and support Ontarios public elementary and post-secondary education system, said Ryan.


For more information please contact:
Sid Ryan, President CUPE Ontario
(416) 209-0066
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications
(416) 578-8774