Ontario needs a bold strategy


Times are tough, and Ontario needs a bold strategy to provide good, green jobs for its citizens.

Many of our cities and towns are reeling under the pressure of recession. Families are being torn apart as breadwinners lose their jobs.

Now’s not the time for cutbacks and restraint; it’s time to spend some money and get things rolling again in the economy.

Historically, in tough times, only the public sector has the wherewithall to take the lead.

Ontario’s economic history is full of examples of government initiatives resulting in a vibrant, affluent economy: from the promotion of cheap hydroelectric power in the last century, the welcoming of millions of immigrants from all over the world to work here, to the creation of our progressive community college and university system that ensures we have a well-educated workforce.

With private-sector unions reeling under massive layoffs in the manufacturing sector, OPSEU must pressure government to take a more active role in the economy. That’s why our Executive Board members and sector leaders are promoting a five-point plan in favour of rebuilding public services and taking a lead in building a green economy for Ontario.

It’s time to rally our creativity in an economic round table of labour, business and government to devise a made-in-Ontario, good jobs strategy.

The recent tabling of take-aways by the LCBO management in negotiations with OPSEU sends a far different message. With more than 750 stores and warehouses across the province, the LCBO is well-placed to help lead the economy by providing stability for our communities and revenue for the province. Instead, the LCBO seems focused on making things worse.

The McGuinty government must send out the correct signals, after years of negative thinking inspired be the Harris Tories. It’s time the government and other public sector employers like the LCBO, colleges and hospitals took a pro-active approach.

The McGuinty Liberals to show some leadership in the future of our economy towards fostering good, green jobs for all. The alternative, more cuts and restraint, is neither palatable nor helpful.

This week’s provincial budget will tell the tale.

In solidarity,

Warren (Smokey) Thomas

View all Presidents' Messages: 2009 to Current

Recent messages