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TORONTO  – The sluggish economic recovery described in Ontario’s economic statement today needs continued support for families and consumer spending, not cuts to vital government programs says Fred Hahn, president of CUPE Ontario, Ontario’s largest union.

“There are two ways to deal with the deficit and, as the Conference Board of Canada keeps telling us, program cuts are the wrong one,” Hahn said. “Especially since the Occupy Movement, public opinion is coming more to agree that big banks, corporations and our wealthiest citizens have to start paying their fair share of the tax burden if we are to get our fiscal house in order without stifling a still struggling economic recovery.

Hahn noted that even former US President Bill Clinton told a Toronto audience at Massey Hall Monday evening that in this difficult economic recovery, it’s time for wealthy people like him to pay more tax.

Speaking about Ontario’s expected budget cuts of at least 2 percent (reports indicate cuts will range from 2 to as much as 30 percent) in ministries other than health and education, Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak told the Ontario Economic Summit on Tuesday that the level of spending cuts planned by the Drummond Commission are “just what I’ve been calling for some time.” Noting that we did not elect a PC government on October 1, Hahn says, “It’s not right that Ontario may get a Tim Hudak budget in March.”

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario represents 230,000 workers in healthcare, education, post-education, municipalities and social services across the province.


For more information, please contact:

Craig Saunders, CUPE Communications Representative, 416-576-7316