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Thomas in the Toronto Sun: ‘Doug-onomics is for the rich’


On May 21, The Toronto Sun published this opinion piece by OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas:

Doug-onomics is for the rich; OPSEU’s Vote Better is for all Ontarians

The stakes are high in this provincial election because the choices are so stark.

The parties are issuing a bewildering stack of promises, but none are as completely bewildering as the promises coming from Doug Ford.

It’s like Ford Nation has its own laws of economics. I call them “Doug-onomics.”

They’re one part magic, one part wishful thinking, and a huge dose of pull-the-wool-over-their-eyes. And it all boils down to this: You can have your cake and eat it too. And if you believe that, I’ve got a gas plant you might want to buy.

Here are some things Doug-onomics asks you to believe:

  • You can cut billions from health care, education, and highways without cutting any jobs or reducing quality.
  • You can wipe out environmental-protection measures without making climate change even worse.
  • You can say you’re for the “little guy” while cutting the pay of people earning minimum wage and greasing the pockets of people earning more than $86,000 a year.

It doesn’t make sense. Or cents. The claims of Doug-onomics sound too good to be true because they’re not true.

Here’s what various number-crunchers say Doug-onomics really means:

  • 75,000 workers laid off.
  • $1.3 billion of our money diverted to those wealthy enough to own a business or stock in a business.
  • Another $1.1 billion of our money diverted to those who make more than $86,000 a year.

In other words, Doug-onomics is actually about taking our money and giving it to the rich.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Because here’s what Doug-onomics doesn’t want you to know: Ontario is actually wealthier than it has ever been before. We don’t have to cut. We can afford to invest in ourselves, in our communities, and in our futures.

It’s all laid out in Vote Better, OPSEU’s platform for this election. As a union of 155,000 public sector workers, we are experts in public services. We know what works. We know what doesn’t. We know where improvements can be made.

Vote Better includes practical, possible and popular ideas like putting an end to privatization or, as I like to call it, “the pay-more-get-less plan.” Stopping privatization will, in one fell swoop, free up billions that we can invest instead in cutting health-care wait times, improving our schools, making our highways safer, protecting the environment, and closing the gender pay gap.

While Doug-onomics is for the rich, Vote Better is for all Ontarians. We’d be delighted if you use our platform to decide how you’ll cast your ballot because our goal is always to serve you better.

So visit www.opseu.org/VoteBetter and have a look for yourself. And most importantly: On June 7, make sure that you don’t just vote, but that you Vote Better!