Ontario Liberals should quit over cash-for-access scandal: OPSEU

“This government has received millions of dollars in donations behind closed doors from companies that have received millions, and in some cases billions, of dollars in government contracts." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President OPSEU

Toronto (8 July 2016) — Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne should step down as premier and call an election in the wake of new evidence of corruption at the highest levels, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) says.

Ontario needs an election

"The Globe and Mail report last night showed what we have been saying all along,” OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said. "This government has received millions of dollars in donations behind closed doors from companies that have received millions, and in some cases billions, of dollars in government contracts."

"In the past, I have called repeatedly for a public inquiry into the privatization industry in this province, but we are way beyond that now," he said. "Ontario needs an election."

Donors to Liberal Party likely expect something in return

Thomas called it "obvious" that anyone paying $5,000 or more to have dinner with the premier would expect something in return.

"What so many corporate law firms, construction companies, banks and hedge funds have learned in the last decade is that nothing has a better return on investment than a donation to the Ontario Liberal Party," he said.

OPSEU/NUPGE has been drawing attention to the tight links between political fundraising and government contracts in Ontario for years. In April 2015, the union published It’s in their DNA, which documents the personal and political links that connect top Liberals to corporate interests.

Transferring wealth from the bottom to the top

"For over a decade, the transfer of wealth from people and public services to corporate profits has been the main driver of government policy," Thomas said. "This is what’s behind the contracting out of public services, the sale of public assets, and the use of public-private partnerships to build infrastructure. It’s what’s behind individualized funding of social services. It’s why there is beer in grocery stores. It’s why the Liberals are so interested in Social Impact Bonds for social services."

"Under these Liberals, we are losing what belongs to all of us," he said. "An election now would give Ontarians a chance to take back their province. It’s ours. We own it."

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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