October 17th, 2019 marks the 27th anniversary of the declaration by the UN as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. We are living in a time of unprecedented economic development and growth, technological advances and abundant financial gains, yet the number of people living in poverty keeps growing. It is a moral outrage that the richest few are seeing their share of world’s wealth growing rapidly, while the rest of us fall further and further behind.
Income inequality is rising around the world and in Ontario, each year, we see the gap growing. The impacts of income inequality are disproportionately felt by women and racialized, young, Indigenous, disabled and LGBTQ people.
To really address income inequality and take meaningful action to eradicate poverty in Ontario, we need high quality, universal public services. We need good, and safe jobs and a minimum wage that allows workers to live in dignity. All Ontarians need access to decent housing, healthy food and clean water, a universal healthcare system, free education from Kindergarten to post-secondary and accessible public transit.
To do this, we need to have corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes. And we need a government that is willing to take action to ensure those investments in the public services and supports that are critical to the eradication of poverty. Instead, the Ford Conservative government in Ontario have slashed billions from public services to pay for tax breaks for those at the top.
CUPE Ontario’s Communities not Cuts campaign is building the resistance in our communities to the Ford Conservative cuts. It is dedicated to protecting public services and good jobs in every single community in this province. It enhances our historic and continuing efforts as a union to improve wages, pensions and working conditions. It is part of our work to build the working class and confront the rising tide of hate being cynically used by some to divide working people from one another.
At CUPE Ontario, we are committed to building a better, and more sustainable, Ontario for all. We are committed to organizing and campaigning to eradicate poverty in our lifetimes. Together, with our Locals, members and allies, working in our communities, we will achieve it.