Toronto – OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas assured his members and Ontarians that the union will do everything possible to defend the province’s public services and will hold incoming Premier Doug Ford accountable.
“This isn’t my first rodeo with a Conservative government,” said Thomas. “Mike Harris was a disaster for Ontario, but at least he ran on a platform. With no concrete plan, I think we should all be very worried about the pressure points that will erupt under Ford.”
In the lead-up to Election Day, economists crunched Ford’s own figures and warned that under his watch, Ontario would lose $22 billion dollars in provincial revenues over the next three years. Many argued that Ford would also run the largest deficits of all the parties.
As the union that represents 155,000 workers in the Ontario Public Service and across the Broader Public Service, OPSEU is calling on Ford to honour his campaign promise that no jobs will be cut; to commit to protecting the public services that are the backbone of our province, and to take a stand against costly and dangerous privatization schemes.
“We’re willing to work together,” said Thomas. “But based on the limited information we’ve got, I’m concerned that Ford’s plan will include deep cuts. If we don’t fight hard against them, these cuts might not heal. For 25 years, governments have been branding cuts as ‘efficiencies’ – it’s time we did better.”
“If Ford is truly ‘for the people’ he’ll invest in the public services we hold so dear, like health care and education,” said OPSEU First Vice-President Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida. “For the sake of our province, and all Ontarians who call this place home, Ford must abandon his ‘efficiency’ fervour.”
“The truth is that growth requires investment,” said Thomas. “The future for our children, and grandchildren – where there are good jobs and quality public services – depends on the investments we make today. That has always been OPSEU’s priority, and like times past, we will fight will all our resources, and with the strength of our entire membership to win that battle.
“In the words of Winston Churchill, ‘we shall fight on the beaches’ to protect our precious public services, and stop privatization,” said Thomas.
For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931