The deep corruption that has characterized Ford’s PCs from Day 1 has caught up with them again; the provincial government’s downward spiral was on clear display as Doug Ford announced the reversal of the ill-fated Greenbelt selloff.

But Premier Ford’s pronouncements in his news conference fall short of what’s really needed. If he is indeed ready to show leadership and correct his “mistakes,” restoring the Greenbelt land should be the first of many such U-turns.

CUPE Ontario calls upon Doug Ford and his PCs to immediately reverse their course on several critical fronts:

  • Stop privatization of our public hospitals’ core services and funding for private clinics.
  • Stop the use of private agency staffing in hospitals and instead provide funding to hire more health care professionals.
  • End the dog-whistle politics that help spread anti-trans hate and instead support 2SLGBTQI+ communities under attack by far-right groups.
  • Commit to the creation of deeply affordable housing and engage in genuine consultation with all stakeholders, including Indigenous groups.
  • Reinstate robust rent control measures that were removed by the Ford government for new housing units back in 2018.
  • Abolish Bill 23 and return the right to municipalities to levy development charges.
  • Protect the health and well being of Ontario’s seniors by ending for-profit long-term care.
  • Provide funding to give each senior in each LTC facility four hours of hands-on care every day.
  • End government support for for-profit child care and deliver on the promise of $10-a-day child care in a fully public system with increased pay for workers.
  • Stop pressing for mergers of local public health offices; instead, increase funding to ensure high-quality public health services in communities across the province.
  • Immediately double OW and ODSP rates, tie both to inflation, and stop locking people into poverty.
  • Stop the dissolution of Peel region and any other regional governments.
  • Abandon PC plans for Ontario Place and the Ontario Science Centre.
  • End the court battle on Bill 124, pay retroactive wage increases, and fund real and substantial increases for public sector wages to the levels that workers need and deserve.
  • Tax corporations that make massive profits and ensure they pay their fair share.
  • Commit to real environmental action to respond to the climate emergency.

These are just some examples of what’s under attack by Doug Ford’s PCs. And at the heart of the attacks is a right-wing ideology, imposed on Ontarians and threatening our public services: hospitals, schools, universities, social services, municipalities, and long-term care.

Until the next provincial election is called in 2026, Doug Ford doesn’t expect he’ll have to account for any of the damage he’s done. Yet he should be schooled by now in what real power is: a year ago, CUPE Ontario education workers showed him what worker power can achieve; this year, collective and community power saved the Greenbelt. And there have been other victories in between that have shown Doug Ford where true power lies.

As trade unionists, we’ve learned this lesson too: working together and with allies, we can make governments – even majority governments – back down and backtrack.

We’ve done it before; let’s do it again. Let’s double down on this victory and start with a massive showing at Monday’s province-wide protests to protect public health care. And let’s start demanding full accountability now from Conservatives: let’s demand they call a provincial election.

There is no shortage of wrongs to right in Doug Ford’s Ontario, and the Greenbelt reversal shows it can be done.

Fred Hahn, President, CUPE Ontario
Yolanda McClean, Secretary-Treasurer, CUPE Ontario