ATU Local 1587 News Archive

Congratulations to the Alberta NDP

ONTARIO’S NDP LAUNCHES YOUPAYTHEPRICE.CA

Toronto – Ontario’s New Democrats have launched a new website; youpaytheprice.ca as part of their aggressive, multi-platform, anti-hydro privatization campaign.

This online hub gives Ontarians the opportunity to let Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals know just how wrong they think her sell-off of Hydro One really is. It will also help Ontarians to keep up to date on campaign events and stay connected with others who are concerned about Wynne’s short-sighted plan.

“Kathleen Wynne left everyone in the dark when it came to her plan to privatize Hydro. She never ran on this plan, she never consulted Ontarians about it,” said Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath.

“New Democrats are going to shine a light on what this plan will really cost Ontario families.”

The website strengthens the Ontario NDP’s campaign against the privatization of Hydro One which kicked off today at Queen’s Park and which will also include an extensive tour across the province.

“Once our hydro system is gone it’s gone,” said Horwath. “Instead of choosing to close tax loopholes for big corporations, Kathleen Wynne is making Ontario families and small businesses pay the price. New Democrats have heard Ontarians loud and clear and we’re going to fight to keep our hydro system in public hands where it belongs.”

For more information visit: youpaytheprice.ca

Press Release from ATU Canadian Council

FEDERAL BUDGET’S FOCUS ON PRIVATIZATION WASTES MUCH NEEDED PUBLIC TRANSIT FUNDING

April 28, 2015. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TORONTO, Ont. – With its recent budget, the Harper government has failed the many cities and towns across Canada that are starved for the funds they need to improve public transit and reduce wasteful congestion in their communities. Instead, the federal budget put off any federal investment in transit until 2017 while at the same time requiring municipalities to waste public money forming discredited public private partnerships (P3s) before they will have any access to these much needed funds.

“Study after study has shown that traffic congestion in Canadian cities is leading to huge social and economic costs. Time and money are being wasted as people and goods sit stuck in traffic due to the government’s failure to invest in transit infrastructure in Canada” says Mike Mahar, Director of ATU Canada.

“With more than $2.7 billion in congestion related economic costs in Southern Ontario alone, ATU Canada had expected that the federal budget would commit significant funds in the budget towards the many municipal transit projects that are planned and ready to go across Canada. That however, didn’t happen.” Mahar continued.

Instead, the Harper government’s budget provides only limited funding for public transit starting two years from now. More importantly, municipalities and transit agencies who want to access those funds will first have to agree to turn their public infrastructure projects over to profit driven public private partnerships.

These partnerships, known as P3s, have repeatedly failed transit users in Canada and around the world and have been harshly criticized by such independent experts as Ontario’s auditor general.

From London, England to Montreal and Toronto here in Canada, P3 models have simply not worked to provide public transit. In the end, these P3 projects have cost taxpayers more than would have been the case had public agencies simply built and operated public transit infrastructure as they have for many years.

“P3s simply don’t work” noted Mahar. He pointed out that Ontario’s auditor general in her 2014 annual report concluded that building public infrastructure using the P3s model had cost Ontario taxpayers $8 billion more in additional tendering costs over a ten year period. “We simply can’t afford to waste any of the little money the Harper government has committed to public transit on providing profits for large corporations” Mahar concluded.

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For Information Contact:
Mike Mahar, Director ATU Canada
Cell: (416) 476-8350
OFL Says Ontario Budget Sells False Choices

(TORONTO, ON) ─ The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) said the Ontario Budget sells Ontarians short by choosing privatization over tax reform. The result will be a damaging and irreversible legacy that entrenches the economic divide, erodes public services and leaves a poorer province for future generations.

“Premier Wynne’s budget sells more than just Ontario’s public assets, it sells false choices,” said OFL President Sid Ryan. “She is telling Ontarians to choose between public transit and public hydro; municipal infrastructure versus hospital closures; good jobs or a balanced budget. It is a sort of budgetary ‘Hunger Games’ that pits public priorities against vital public services instead of addressing the most obvious choice: asking corporations and high-income earners to pay their fair share.”

In its pre-budget submission, the OFL called on the Wynne government to use public investment and tax reform to ensure that prosperity is shared, get more Ontarians working and build a fairer society.

The OFL called attention to the 370,000 Ontario children who live in poverty; the one million workers who earn at or near the minimum wage; the one in five Ontarians who receive help from a food bank or charity; and the nearly half of all residents in the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton who are working in precarious, part-time and insecure employment. All of this stands in stark contrast to Canada’s highest paid CEOs, who today make 171 times the average Canadian income at a time when Ontario corporate tax rate is the lowest in North America.

Simply restoring corporate tax rates to 14 percent, cracking down on tax cheaters and removing exemptions in the Employer Health Tax could inject an estimated six billion into infrastructure, jobs and anti-poverty initiatives each year. However, today’s budget does little more than tinker with the symptoms of poverty and inequality rather than addressing inequities in the tax system that are at the root of the crisis.

“Wynne sold herself to Ontarians as the ‘Social Justice Premier’ but she has presented us with a budget drafted by bankers, for bankers,” said Ryan. “This budget has identified many important problems but it arrives at all the wrong solutions. Ontario needs long term, stable and reliable revenue to protect valuable public services and to lift people out of poverty,” said Ryan.

The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario.

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