Stable funding for Medicare, social programs and post-secondary education should not be sacrificed for today's corporate tax cuts.
Ottawa (9 Mar. 2011) - To help facilitate the discussion on the renewal of the upcoming federal Health Accord and Canada Social Transfer (CST), the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) has prepared a pamphlet, Here they go again, explaining the importance of the issues (download here).
James Clancy, NUPGE national president sees the debate as not "just something that applies to a small group of those 'in the know'. It applies to all of us – and Canadians need to start discussing what we want to see in a future accord."
Federal transfers - a promise to Canadians
The Health Accord, originally negotiated in 2004 was a 10-year commitment to fund the Canada Health Transfer (CHT) and, by extension, the CST. Through these transfers, billions of federal dollars support provinces and territories in the delivery of health care, public education and social security services.
According to Clancy, "the principle of these transfers is that every Canadian should have equal access to services regardless of where they live. This promise of universal health care and social and public services defines our society."
While Canadians are faced with critical decisions about these transfers, the federal ministers responsible are saying very little.
That hasn't stopped others from speaking up. Economists Scott Clarke and Peter Devries, formerly with the Department of Finance, wrote in an open letter to Minister Flaherty, “The decision you, or any government, will take with respect to the CHT and CST will set the course of the federal government and federal/provincial relations for many years to follow.”
Unfortunately, there are signs the Harper government is considering government spending cuts to address the deficit - even while giving out corporations a further tax break.
"Canadians have been calling for early childhood education, home care and pharmacare, not cuts to corporate taxes and tax breaks for the super-rich," said Clancy. "These are all choices – decisions that should be made by governments in a democratic manner, not policies dictated from corporate boardrooms or their 'think tanks'."
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