Departure of Duncan a chance to put public interest ahead of Bay Street’s: OPSEU

“It is our hope that the next finance minister will come to work for the 99 per cent, not the one per cent. For a change.” - Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President.

Toronto (08 Feb. 2013) - The resignation of Ontario finance minister Dwight Duncan offers incoming premier Kathleen Wynne an opportunity to put the public interest ahead of Bay Street’s for the first time in years, the President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) says.

“Dwight Duncan will be remembered as the man who demanded cuts to public services, jobs, and wages for working people while doling out sacks full of cash to the richest corporations in the country, particularly those in the financial services industry,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “It is our hope that the next finance minister will come to work for the 99 per cent, not the one per cent. For a change.”

Under the McGuinty Liberals, tax breaks for the financial services industry alone (not including insurance) have amounted to at least $430 million a year from cuts to the corporate income tax rate and $740 million a year from the elimination of the *Capital Tax, Thomas noted.

“Bay Street is enjoying more than a billion dollars a year in free money thanks to the efforts of Minister Duncan and his predecessor,” Thomas said. “We can hardly wait to see where he lands to collect his earthly reward,” he said.

*Source: Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services (2012), Public Services for Ontarians: a Path to Sustainability and Excellence (Toronto: Queen’s Printer for Ontario), p. 303. All figures in 2011 dollars. Corporate income tax reduction calculated based on changes in the March 2012 Ontario Budget.

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 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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