There is little to celebrate in the Liberal party’s Sudbury by-election victory yesterday, the president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union said today.
“The Liberals can put away their party hats and cork the champagne bottles,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “Little has changed. They still have their majority at Queen’s Park and that means more in the way of severe austerity and cutbacks to the public services that the people of Sudbury and Ontario rely upon.
“I am proud of the role OPSEU played in this campaign,” he said. “We focused our message on the Liberals’ scheme to introduce more privatization of public services, all for the benefit of their friends in the privatization industry. In fact, the final results showed that about 60 per cent of Sudbury voters rejected the Liberals outright.”
Thomas said of more immediate concern to the Liberals should be the ongoing OPP and Elections Ontario investigation into allegations that party operatives attempted to lure one-time Liberal candidate Andrew Olivier away from the contest with a promise of a provincial appointment.
“They attempted to bait Olivier with a job promise but look who got caught in the trap – a pair of Liberal backroom operators,” said Thomas. “The Premier does herself no favours in this matter by avoiding media questions in Sudbury and then suddenly going underground upon her return to Toronto today.”
The OPSEU president said his union’s participation in the Sudbury vote has provided him with a renewed appreciation for the unique economic and social challenges faced by residents of northern Ontario.
“They’re one tough lot and that was demonstrated over and over in this by-election,” said Thomas. “They’re fighters for what their communities deserve and OPSEU stands with them in that struggle.”
Warren (Smokey) Thomas