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TORONTO, ON – Since December 14, 1990, when the UN General Assembly proclaimed October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons this has been a key date for older persons across Ontario. In Canada and around the world, demographics are shifting. The rapid increase of older persons within Ontario communities is creating a much greater demand both on our public services and on the public sector workers who provide these services. A significant number of CUPE’s 270,000 members in Ontario are moving from providing these critical front-line public services, to increasingly needing them.

“The Ford Conservatives ongoing cuts to Ontario’s budget have created hardship for many retirees in Ontario. The essential services we have delivered over the years have helped to build our communities, but now, as we age out of the workforce and begin to need long term care, health care, and services in our communities, the Ford Conservatives are rolling out cuts to our public programs” said Stephen Seaborn, who chairs CUPE Ontario’s Retirees Network.

Retired people and their families are living with the consequences of the Ford Conservative’s cuts. Reduced staffing levels, longer hours and the elimination of various therapies and programs covered by OHIP impact retirees directly. Retirees suffer, their families suffer, communities suffer.

Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario also commented, “the Ford Conservative cuts have created havoc in Ontario and this has tragically fallen on those most in need, those who have retired and the most vulnerable. The cuts to healthcare, social services and education, impact us all and have disproportion impacts on marginalized communities, many of whom are older persons.”

Hahn went on to say “This is why CUPE Ontario’s Communities not Cuts province wide campaign is so important right now. This campaign will bring public sector workers and communities together to fight back against the Ford Conservative government’s all out attack on Ontario’s public services; an all-out attack on the people, on Ontario’s retirees and on our most vulnerable who rely on these services and an all-out attack to the workers who provide them”.

To flourish in retirement requires the flourishing of our communities, and older persons require good, publicly funded and publicly delivered services. Older persons who remain labour activists, are proud to continue fighting for a just system. And union retirees are a strong advocate for older persons and the end of age discrimination. CUPE Ontario salutes all retirees on this on the International Day of Older Persons.

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For more information, please contact:
Marla Di Candia, CUPE Communications, 416-523-3124

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