(TORONTO, ON) – Ontarians will only suffer if Campbell’s commission of inquiry leads to cuts in – and the privatization of – public services including in health, education, and child care.
Although the commission’s report does not recommend cuts to services, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli said today that Ontario is facing a $15-billion deficit that will require “sacrifices across the board.”
“It is clear that public services are at risk in our province, despite the fact that Doug Ford promised that no jobs would be lost in moving toward a balanced budget. Cost savings should not be found in Ontario’s already overburdened and underfunded public services,” said Ontario Federation of Labour President Chris Buckley. “Public services are in a crisis. People are waiting in hospital hallways for care. Schools need repair. Families do not have access to high-quality, publicly-funded child care. Across the province, it is difficult to make ends meet. Our government must build public services, and instead they are laying the groundwork for cuts and privatization. It’s unconscionable.”
Doug Ford promised during his election campaign that no jobs would be lost in Ontario in the name of balancing the budget.
“The best thing for Ontario is to increase its revenue. As millions of precariously-employed workers who are forced to hold multiple jobs know, when a family budget is tight, it is necessary to increase their income,” said Buckley. “The budget must not be balanced on the backs of Ontario’s most vulnerable, who already struggle to access services they depend on. Public services must be readily accessible to all, from hospital beds when they are needed to schools in a good state of repair to affordable, well-regulated, publicly-funded child care.”
The Labour movement has long fought for strong public services and urges the government to ensure that it builds up public services rather than cutting or privatizing them, to make life easier for Ontarians.
“This government has a moral imperative to ensure that Ontarians have the services they need, when they need them. The best way to do that is to build up our public services,” said Buckley.
The OFL represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit www.OFL.ca and follow @OFLabour on Facebook and Twitter.
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