Ontario budget austerity measures short-sighted

Ontario budget austerity measures short-sightedToronto – April 24, 2015 – Ontarians are struggling to find good paying jobs, more seniors are living in poverty, and while high unemployment persists, the Wynne government introduced a budget full of austerity measures in order to squeeze out the promise of balancing the books by 2017. Yet, just a year ago as the Liberals campaigned to win the election, we were being told of the billions of dollars earmarked for infrastructure spending, schools, and retirement security.

UFCW Canada is concerned with both the austerity measures and privatization announced in this budget. More than three-quarters of the jobs created across Canada in the past five years have been precarious, part-time or temporary. Recently a CBC-held town hall called “Just-In-Time-Jobs” highlighted that over half of the jobs available in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas are precarious, part-time jobs.

UFCW Canada members, like all Ontarians, are worried about their future. Many Ontarians now require incomes from multiple sources just to make ends meet. So when Ontarians hear that our Hydro One bills are likely to increase or that good paying positions are being cut in the health and education sectors, it is concerning.

Budgets are about choices. Premier Wynne and her government made their choices.  UFCW Canada feels that cuts and privatization are short-term solutions, and what is needed are long-term strategies and vision.

Ontarians care about their future and do not want to leave future generations with the negative consequences of short-sighted decisions –  especially when this government knew the impacts, yet went ahead with their decision anyway just to balance a budget two years away.