"I will strongly reinforce our message to the premier that these sorts of cuts cannot continue without severely harming services that the people of our province have come to rely on.” - Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President.
Toronto (11 Oct. 2011) - In Ontario, the election of a minority Liberal government, with the NDP holding an apparent balance of power, signals an opportunity to rebuild public services after years of neglect and public sector job losses, says the President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE).
“With the election of a Liberal minority government in Ontario, we are entering an exciting period that hasn’t been witnessed in more than a quarter century,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “But instead of viewing the election outcome with trepidation and uncertainty, I believe yesterday’s outcome allows us to work together so that we can begin to rebuild public services for the benefit of millions of Ontarians.”
Thomas said he will be looking for signals from the new government that demonstrates it is committed to putting a stop to planned job cuts in the Ontario Public Service and that it intends to invest more in services that have been neglected for too long.
“We are bitterly opposed to the job cuts that Mr. McGuinty delivered to the Ontario Public Service in the last years of his previous government. I will strongly reinforce our message to the premier that these sorts of cuts cannot continue without severely harming services that the people of our province have come to rely on.”
Thomas said that he was relieved that the results of early polls showing the Hudak Conservatives were on the path to forming the government at Queen’s Park did not bear out. He congratulated NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on the improved standing of her party in the Legislature.
“Andrea Horwath has been a staunch defender of jobs and public services throughout her campaign and political career,” said Thomas. “And she has taken a clear stand against draining Ontario’s coffers through corporate tax cuts. I know that she will continue to be a strong voice for working people in this province, and she can be assured of OPSEU’s continued support.”
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