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WINDSOR, ON – Hundreds of public service workers filled Charles Clark Square in Windsor today, calling on Ontario’s Liberal government to end its attack on public services.
“Cuts in the Ontario budget will severely damage public services that our communities rely on,” said Fred Hahn, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario, whose members are in Windsor for the union’s annual Convention. “This budget is a job killer, and it’s going to hit communities like Windsor hard. The Liberals have to stop governing for bankers and start governing for workers.”
Hahn also raised the alarm over Schedule 28, a section of the budget bill that allows the government to privatize public services with no debate in the legislature.
“Schedule 28 has mostly flown under people’s radar,” he said. “But it’s one of the most dangerous pieces of legislation Ontario has seen. It allows privatization of services without transparency and accountability. If people thought the Ornge scandal was bad, this will give us a crate of Ornges.”
Hahn was joined at the rally by CUPE National President Paul Moist and Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury, CUPE Ontario Secretary-Treasurer Candace Rennick, Windsor Workers’ Action Centre Executive Director Paul Chislet, Community Living Essex worker Srila Perine, and CUPE members from every corner of the province.
“Recklessly pursuing an austerity agenda while slashing government revenues with irresponsible corporate tax cuts is only harming our economy, and is not helping Canadian workers,” Paul Moist, national president of CUPE. “There are better choices for Ontario and Canada. But together the governments of Ontario and Canada would rather pursue policies – like the many hidden within the federal budget omnibus bill – to erode wages, benefits, pensions, and shrink their responsibilities to the people of Ontario and Canada.”
CUPE Ontario represents more than 230,000 workers, including more than 18,000 in Northern Ontario, in five main sectors: health care, municipalities, school boards, social services and post-secondary education.
For more information, please contact:
Craig Saunders, CUPE Communications, 416-576-7316