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TORONTO – Today, the Ontario government called together 300 of its closest friends and said that they had “taken the budget to the people.” Unfortunately, MPPs, the people’s representatives, the only ones who have any apparent authority over the budget, were completely excluded from the process.

“In his attempt to ensure his party’s re-election, Premier Eves has not brought forward a spring budget. He has, however, brought forward a first for Ontario: our first Springer Budget,” says CUPE Ontario Division president, Sid Ryan.

“Yes, not spring, but Springer. Finance Minister Janet Ecker has taken on the role of Jerry Springer and has given us a tabloid TV budget. She had the captive audience and the unfortunate guests who provided the audience’s fun for the day, such as the premier, whose decision makers had put him on the stage as the leading character: ’Likes to play budgetary hide and seek with voters and politicians.’

“Seriously, it was sad to see a minister of the crown, widely recognized as a person of superior intellect, being cast in the Jerry Springer role for this parliamentary misadventure.

“However, no one should be surprised. This government, from its first mandate in 1995 and its subsequent mandate in 1999, has chipped away at Ontario’s democratic structure.

“Starting with Bill 26, right up until today, the Tory government has acted with stunning disregard for the constitutional rights of Ontarians.

“The tax cuts which dominate the news about this budget are like leeches sucking the life out of our public services. Every dollar that goes into a tax cut, is a dollar withdrawn from your local emergency room. It is a dollar that will not make your highway safe. It is a dollar that will not go to an autistic child’s education. It is a dollar that will not hire an intensive care nurse. It is a dollar that will not rescue a single mother whose quest for a hand up, not a hand out, ends in privation, illness or death.

“Once again, the provincial government will take money from public education to support private schools. And once again, the financial recklessness of tax cuts will draw the province closer to a deficit.

“An election budget? The Premier and the decision makers who advised cutting the House out of its democratic role may think so. CUPE knows that Ontarians are not so easily duped. The cavalier attitude of the premier will make today’s spectacle into another link in the chain of undemocratic, unsafe, deeds of his government,” Ryan says.

CUPE’s Ontario Division includes 200,000 public employees in health care, schools, air travel, infrastructure, culture and universities.


For more information please contact:
Sid Ryan, President – CUPE Ontario
(416) 209-0066
Neil Walker, CUPE Communications
(416) 949-7088