Well, this is it.
Interest in the federal election is at a fever pitch across Canada. Last week, a whopping 3.6 million Canadians voted at advance polls. That’s a 71 per cent increase compared to the last election!
I have to say I’m not surprised. Everywhere I go, I’m getting the same feeling: the huge majority of Canadians can’t wait to sweep Stephen Harper and his Conservatives out of office.
It’s about time, too: Harper is against everything most OPSEU members are for. He’s attacked public services. He’s attacked labour rights and collective bargaining. He’s gutted Employment Insurance.
The question is, who’s going to replace him? That’s up to you.
I’ve already voted; I didn’t vote Liberal. Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberals are close cousins to Kathleen Wynne’s provincial ones, and those provincial ones have been a deep disappointment, to say the least.
I don’t want to vote for more cuts to public services; I want to vote to expand them. Can we start building a true national pharmaceutical drug plan now? I think we can. Can we start to restore our Employment Insurance system now, so people without work can live decently until they get back on their feet? I think we can. Can we have more affordable, quality child care in communities across this country? I think we can.
But that’s just me. You have to make your own decision. Whatever you decide, it doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t cast your ballot.
The record turnout in a Canadian federal election was 79.4 per cent in 1958. Looking at the advance polls, I believe we can beat that. On October 19, let’s go for a record turnout. And let’s go for a better Canada.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas
President, Ontario Public Service Employees Union
P.S. Our OPSEU Voters’ Guide only touches on a small portion of the issues you might want to consider before voting. But if you want to compare what the parties are saying – and doing – about public services and workplaces issues, the guide makes it easy.