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WELLAND, ON – We cannot afford to keep giving handouts to the super-rich and to big corporations when public services are threatened and governments are facing huge deficits, said leaders of Ontario’s largest union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) at today’s Labour Day events around the province.


“The Liberals and PCs say tax cuts create jobs. We’ve been living with tax cuts for their corporate friends for a while now, and it has done nothing to help the nearly one in ten people out of work in Welland and the Niagara Region,” said CUPE Ontario president Fred Hahn at today’s Labour Day Parade in Toronto.


“We need to invest in good, stable jobs and stop handing over our hard-earned cash to CEOs who just pocket it and, as so often happens, shut their plants and kill jobs in communities. We need a strong, diverse economy and right now more and more average families need immediate help from the kinds of services delivered by CUPE members across the province,” Hahn said.


Hahn took his message to the provincial capital where, standing alongside CUPE national president Paul Moist and CUPE Ontario Secretary-Treasurer Candace Rennick, he said that a modest tax increase for the super-rich and rollbacks on some recent corporate tax cuts would help.


“We wouldn’t have a deficit problem if corporations and the mega-rich paid their fair share of taxes. We could have strong, stable services like care for people with developmental disabilities and we could stop closing hospital beds,” said CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn.


By increasing the rate by just two percent for people making more than $500,000 a year, and closing the executive stock option loophole, the province would increase revenues by more than $500 million. Reversing the $2 billion Dalton McGuinty recently gave out in corporate tax cuts will return a further $2 billion to the province for a total of over $2.5 billion.


“A modest 2 percent tax increase would only affect the most wealthy, but would generate enough revenue to deal with the deficit and provide adequate funding for many of the social services that make life better for so many Ontarians,” Hahn said.


Noting that large banks and corporations in Canada are getting away without paying their fair share thanks to successive Liberal and PC tax cuts, Hahn pointed to a 2010 KPMG report, Competitive Alternatives, which shows that corporations in Canada pay less in tax than corporations in the United States or any major European country.


“Life has been getting more expensive, and corporate tax cuts mean average Canadians are lining the pockets of CEOs. That just isn’t fair,” Hahn said.


Labour Day events in the region include a Parade in St. Catharines beginning at 11:00 a.m. at the CAW Hall and ending at Lyons Community Park, and a barbeque at the CAW Hall.


The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) represents more than 230,000 workers in Ontario. Its members work in health care, at schools and universities, for municipalities and provide essential social services.




For more information, please contact:


Andrea Madden, Vice-President, CUPE Ontario, 519-999-0383

Fred Hahn, President, CUPE Ontario, 416-540-3979

Craig Saunders, CUPE Communications, 416-576-7316