Ontario unions launch Communities That Work media campaign in advance of new Ontario budget in March.
Toronto (3 Feb. 2010) - Citizens across Ontario began hearing radio ads this week calling on Premier Dalton McGuinty to focus on ‘good jobs’ when his Liberal government brings down its next budget in March. Listen to radio ads
The Communities That Work campaign has been launched by the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) with key support and involvement from the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) and the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE).
It focuses attention on jobs during the period when the province is holding consultations in advance of the budget and asking for advice on how to deal with deficits caused by the recession.
The message from the OFL, OPSEU, NUPGE and other unions is to retain public spending that preserves and creates good jobs.
"Cutting spending now will only prolong the real crisis Ontario is facing," says OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "We are in deficit because too many people are not working. We are in deficit because too many people can’t make ends meet on part-time, temporary low-paid jobs. As a result, they can’t pay taxes."
Among the facts being emphasized in the Communities That Work campaign are the following:
- Ontario has lost 200,000 jobs since the beginning of the recession, 176,000 of them full-time jobs.
- Temporary and self-employment jobs soared by 20,500 and 25,000 jobs respectively from 2008 to 2009.
- Ontario already has the second lowest rate of program spending of any province or territory in Canada.
- Ontario already ranks a dismal 55th place in education-per-student spending among the 60 provinces and states in Canada and the U.S. (behind such states as Kentucky, Alabama and Arkansas).
“The top priority for the Ontario government must be to preserve and create good jobs,” says Ontario Federation of Labour president Sid Ryan.
“That’s how we’ll pay down the deficit and speed up and consolidate the economic recovery. It’s the only sustainable way to really help the government’s bottom line. Paying down the deficit won't create good jobs, but creating good jobs will pay down the deficit.”
The federation says Ontario’s economic recovery could be threatened by short-sighted decisions to cut public services or sell off profitable assets such as the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), Ontario's hydro companies or the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG).
The radio ads, which began this week, will be supplemented by television ads starting next week. NUPGE is one of the key unions involved in the television component of the overall ad campaign.
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