November 7, 2019
TORONTO—Yesterday’s fall economic update solidified plans to maintain reckless funding cuts to public services and further gutting of legislation that protects workers’ rights through Bill 124.
“Doug Ford openly stated he would strike a new tone and dial back his government’s irresponsible cuts to vital public services, but that was shown to be as much of a fabrication as the $15 billion deficit,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “The premier says he’s for the people but he’s certainly not listening to workers or their families that have rejected his government’s cutting and gutting of public services.”
The Ford government’s fall fiscal update could have dedicated the $1.3 billion deficit reduction to reversing cuts to health care, education, and municipal services. Instead, the government chose to shirk its responsibilities to deliver high quality public services and worsen working conditions in hospitals, schools, and cities.
In August 2018, the Premier repeatedly insisted that the province faced a budget deficit of $15 billion. The deficit was repeatedly invoked as the motivation for the wholesale repealing of labour legislation and funding cuts to public services. In September, the deficit was shown to be approximately $7.4 billion. This year’s fall fiscal update repeats the same mantra that the province’s $10.3 billion deficit must be eliminated at the expense of public sector working conditions and lower quality services.
“The premier is attacking the people who take care of us when we are sick, educate our children, and make sure we live in a safe, healthy society,” said Naureen Rizvi Unifor Ontario Director. “As long as Doug Ford keeps Bill 124 on the table and insists on balancing the budget on the backs of our members he’ll continue to have a serious fight on his hands.”
In September, Unifor launched a new campaign to mobilize members and the public across the province to halt Ford’s funding cuts and planned introduction of a public sector wage freeze through Bill 124. The bill directly interferes and infringes on the rights of workers to free collective bargaining of at least 16,000 Unifor members in Ontario. To see the full details of the campaign visit stopfordcuts.ca.
For further information or to schedule an interview please contact Unifor Communications Representative David Molenhuis at david.molenhuis@Unifor.org or (416) 575-7453 (cell).