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TORONTO, ON – The Liberal government’s budget, passed at Queen’s Park today, contains a reckless program of cuts that kills jobs, increases inequality, and leaves vulnerable Ontarians without vital public services. It is the same kind of austerity agenda that is failing around the world, says Fred Hahn, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario.

“Last week the IMF admitted their forced austerity program had destroyed the Greek economy. As an ideology, austerity is failing people and economies around the world. It’s time for Ontario to wake up and smell the coffee,” said Hahn. “Ontario needs budgets that create jobs, invest in public services and reduce poverty.”

While the Liberals were shredding documents detailing their botched energy privatization program and ducking the growing Ornge air ambulance scandal, more than two million Ontarians remained on wait lists for developmental services, child care, long-term care beds and other public services, and continued to live in poverty because of stagnant social assistance and minimum wage rates.

Provincial austerity is causing widespread layoffs and bed closures in hospitals, hundreds of layoffs and massive service cuts in child welfare and developmental services – all with severe effects on many of the province’s most vulnerable citizens. 

All of this while profitable corporations and banks in Ontario are paying the lowest corporate tax rates since the 1920’s, costing Ontario taxpayers billions of dollars in lost revenue every year.

In March, CUPE Ontario provided the government finance committee with a detailed report on the need to build revenues and the economy by investing in public services and social infrastructure.

The complete report is available online at


For further information:

Craig Saunders, CUPE Communications                      416-576-7316              [email protected]