TORONTO - Kathleen Wynne can credit her victory to a strategy of wooing NDP voters with a progressive agenda. It’s now up to her to deliver, say CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn.
Mr. Hahn congratulates Premier Wynne on her victory and looks forward to working with her government to ensure that the people of Ontario have a government that will build strong communities and provide the level of services and supports people need to thrive.
“Ontario voters rejected Tim Hudak and his plan to gut and privatize public services and cut public-sector jobs,” said Hahn. “They put their faith in Wynne because she campaigned on a progressive agenda that would invest in our communities and provide the services we need. Now she must demonstrate she will govern that way.”
Her first opportunity to make good on her promises will be through improvements to her May budget. Misinterpreted by many as a “very progressive” blueprint for Ontario, the fine print proved to the contrary.
The budget included less per capita spending on public services than any province in Canada. It included deep cuts in funding for public services, maintained the lowest corporate tax rates since the 1930s, tied infrastructure to privatization and proposed a pension plan that would not be universal.
“A good start would be picking up on a positive concept from the NDP platform, and restoring corporate tax rates,” said Hahn. “We have a deficit because the Liberals stripped billions in revenue out of the budget, and with lowest rate since the thirties, there is plenty of room to correct that mistake.”
Implementing a fair taxation plan would allow the government to make good on campaign promises without the hospital bed closures and other service cuts previous budgets are causing.
“I am hopeful the Liberals have learned from scandals like Ornge, eHealth and the gas plants that privatizing, contracting-out and public-private partnerships don’t work,” says Hahn. “Those contracts only funnel money away from service delivery and into corporate profits. Public services work best when they are truly public.”
CUPE is Ontario’s community union, with members providing quality public services we all rely on in every part of the province every day. CUPE Ontario members are proud to work in social services, health care, municipalities, school boards, universities and airlines.