“Tens of thousands of people signed up to support We Own It, and you can be sure they’ll think twice about voting for politicians who don’t keep their word and instead put corporate profits before ‘the people.'” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Toronto — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of the Ontario Public Services Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE), is calling out 2 Ford government cabinet ministers for breaking specific promises they made on the campaign trail not to privatize any more public services.
MPPs turning backs on anti-privatization campaign pledge
“Looks like Steve Clark and Todd Smith have a new slogan: Promise Made, Promise Betrayed,” said Thomas. “Before the election, they had their photos taken while signing pledges promising not to privatize any more services. But once they got elected, they’ve been part of a government that’s trying to privatize everything in sight."
“Can we trust anything they say?" said Thomas.
While they were in opposition both Clark and Smith signed the Public Services Pledge. It was widely distributed by OPSEU/NUPGE members and community allies during the union's successful We Own It campaign for quality public services.
The pledge that the 2 politicians signed says, “I pledge to protect quality public services by refusing to privatize any public service or asset, and by actively working to repatriate services and assets that have been privatized in the past.”
New privatization schemes may have re-election consequences
But since the election, Clark and Smith have been silent as their government brings in privatization schemes across the entire public service, including in health care, justice, social services, cannabis sales, transit, and autism services.
“Shows what their word is worth,” said Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer. “Most people take it seriously when they sign their name to something. But in Ford Nation, it’s obviously okay to say or sign anything to get a vote and then do exactly the opposite once they’re in power.”
Thomas said Clark and Smith — and the rest of Ford’s MPPs — will have a hard time getting re-elected if they keep betraying the trust of the people who voted for them.
“Our We Own It campaign showed that 3 out of every 4 Ontarians are sick of the high costs and shoddy services that are the hallmark of privatization,” said Thomas. “Tens of thousands of people signed up to support We Own It, and you can be sure they’ll think twice about voting for politicians who don’t keep their word and instead put corporate profits before ‘the people.'”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 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