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TORONTO, Ont. – 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 the President of Ontario’s largest union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) at today’s Labour Day Parade in Toronto.
“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.
Standing alongside CUPE national president Paul Moist and Ontario Secretary-Treasurer Candace Rennick, Hahn called on the province to raise provincial taxes for the wealthy. By increasing the rate by just two per cent 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 two per cent 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.
The CUPE leaders were gathered in Toronto together with labour leaders and workers from across the province for the annual Labour Day Parade.
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:
Fred Hahn, President, CUPE Ontario, 416-540-3979
Craig Saunders, CUPE Communications, 416-576-7316