OTTAWA Canadas largest union says Paul Martin couldnt have picked a better day for his first throne speech. Paul Martin chose Groundhog Day to tell Canadians to expect more of the same lots of hot air but no relief from the cold, said Paul Moist, national president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
Canadians dont want empty promises, said Moist. We want real progress on rebuilding our cities, cutting waiting lists for public health care and creating enough child care spaces to meet our families needs. Instead we get more of what we saw when Paul Martin was finance minister spin for Canadians and real benefits for big business.
CUPE, which represents more than half a million workers in health care, municipalities, education and social services, was looking to the throne speech for more convincing evidence that the government is serious about reinvesting in the public services and infrastructure needed to grow Canadas economy.
Martin says well have to wait until the governments finances improve before we can make real progress on a new deal for cities, on ending child poverty and improving conditions in our aboriginal communities. But this is the same government that has been hiding its surplus for years, said Moist. Its time Martin started living up to his word and address the urgent needs of Canadians for health care, housing, child care and lower tuition.
Moist expressed concern the Martin government is also hiding its plans to privatize vital public services. All this talk of partnerships with the private sector is intended to hide the dismal truth. Privatization has led to cuts in service, higher costs and a serious loss in public accountability. Handing over public services to multinational corporations just diverts tax dollars to foreign pockets and strips local communities of good jobs, said Moist.
For further information, visit cupe.ca or contact:
Paul Moist, 613-558-2873
Robert Fox, CUPE Communications 613-795-4977