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President Thomas questions what programs the Liberals will axe as a result of job cuts

Letter to the Editor about Premier McGuinty’s job cuts

I have one question to ask Premier Dalton McGuinty about his job cuts –  where does he propose to start? (McGuinty Aims to Axe 1,400 public-service jobs – Feb. 21)

With the correctional officers who guard accused murderers? With the inspectors who make sure our food is safe and our water is drinkable? With the caseworkers who help people with disabilities get the income they need for food and rent? With the communications officers who save lives by dispatching ambulances? With the service representatives who protect health cards from fraud? With the probation and parole officers who supervise offenders in the community? With the environmental and conservation officers, scientists and technicians who protect our air, land and water, and sustain our forests, fish and wildlife?

The fact is, Ontario already has a very lean public service. The Conservative government of Mike Harris slashed it by 25 per cent or 20,000 workers in the mid-1990s. Ontario’s spending on government services is the second lowest in Canada and 28 per cent below the average spending of other Canadian governments.

Job cuts of the scale proposed by the Premier mean entire programs will have to be axed. There is no fat left to cut. Our members have been doing more with less for years now.

Make no mistake. Dalton McGuinty’s job cuts will affect the public services that Ontarians rely on.

Finally, it is deeply offensive to our members that the Premier is accelerating the cuts for purely political reasons. He should watch out. His job could be next.

Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President, Ontario Public Service Employees Union

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