Province Spends Billions but Leaves Most Ontarians Behind: CUPE Ontario

Editorial & Advertiser Disclosure Global Banking And Finance Review is an independent publisher which offers News, information, Analysis, Opinion, Press Releases, Reviews, Research reports covering various economies, industries, products, services and companies. The content available on globalbankingandfinance.com is sourced by a mixture of different methods which is not limited to content produced and supplied by various staff writers, journalists, freelancers, individuals, organizations, companies, PR agencies Sponsored Posts etc. The information available on this website is purely for educational and informational purposes only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any of the information provided at globalbankingandfinance.com with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. Globalbankingandfinance.com also links to various third party websites and we cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of the information provided by third party websites. Links from various articles on our site to third party websites are a mixture of non-sponsored links and sponsored links. Only a very small fraction of the links which point to external websites are affiliate links. Some of the links which you may click on our website may link to various products and services from our partners who may compensate us if you buy a service or product or fill a form or install an app. This will not incur additional cost to you. A very few articles on our website are sponsored posts or paid advertorials. These are marked as sponsored posts at the bottom of each post. For avoidance of any doubts and to make it easier for you to differentiate sponsored or non-sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles on our site or all links to external websites as sponsored . Please note that some of the services or products which we talk about carry a high level of risk and may not be suitable for everyone. These may be complex services or products and we request the readers to consider this purely from an educational standpoint. The information provided on this website is general in nature. Global Banking & Finance Review expressly disclaims any liability without any limitation which may arise directly or indirectly from the use of such information.

CUPE Ontario, the provinces largest union, says the Conservative governments economic update today missed an opportunity to provide immediate and direct financial support for thousands hurting due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to adequately increase health care funding.

People are worried about rent and mortgages, about putting food on the table, and about securing their quality of life in the future, said Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario. Supporting Ontarians who are facing real, financial hardships, and ensuring a strong public health care system are most important and yet the Ford Conservatives just said theyll spend far more on businesses than on people.

The union has previously called for immediate financial support from the provincial government of at least $2,000 for those who are unemployed and cannot rely on EI benefits. This is separate from and in addition to the Federal Governments recently-announced $2,000/month benefit. Additionally, CUPE Ontario is calling for a wage subsidy for employers to keep workers on their payroll; and where thats not possible and there are layoffs, the province should support employers with a Supplementary Unemployment Benefit Plan (SUBP), a measure which allows them to top up employees EI benefits.

This contrasts with the governments update, which does not include direct financial support for all Ontarians. Its unthinkable, said Hahn, noting a report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives that says nearly half of studied households have less than a months worth of savings. If British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec can do it, we can too.

Its not even clear to us that the funding for businesses will be used to ensure a wage subsidy that keeps workers on the payroll, said Candace Rennick, Secretary-Treasurer of CUPE Ontario. This is an issue of balance “ we cant spend so much more on businesses than on people.

We also didnt see the kind of direct support for the frontline public services that people rely on everyday “ especially in a time of crisis, said Hahn, noting that there was no mention of funds for personal support workers who are in short supply. This government can and must support frontline workers by ensuring they have the proper safety procedures, personal protective equipment, and critical training.

The provinces decade-long underfunding of hospitals and long-term care homes, and the privatization of other health care services, has made communities more vulnerable to the impacts of crisis situations like this pandemic, according to Rennick.

Rennick adds that the province could also do more to support municipalities, social services, and all public services since Ontarios communities rely on a network of public services that were already underfunded.

If the Ford Conservatives really value the health of Ontarians, they need to make an historic investment, said Hahn, specifically pointing to hospital spending of less than $1-billion, which falls short of the $1.4-billion increase in spending from 2017 to 2018. This is a crisis like weve never experienced, and this government is just not investing enough money for our health care.

The union says the government also missed an opportunity to guarantee the jobs of public sector workers, like British Columbia has; and for all workers to receive paid sick days, something even the conservative C.D. Howe Institute is advocating. Like H1N1 in 2009, COVID-19 will disproportionately impact Indigenous Ontarians in both infection and mortality rates, so the province should respond with an equity lens, according to Hahn.

Well only get through this if were really there for everyone, all Ontarians, said Hahn. Our union, as well as community organizations and individuals across the province, have shown solidarity in such inspiring ways. Nows the time for this government to join us with real, meaningful action.

kw/cope491

Daniel Tseghay

CUPE Communications

[email protected] | 647-220-9739