TORONTO, May 1, 2014 /CNW/ - "Today's budget will make a positive
difference in the lives of working families in Ontario - and should be
supported by the NDP," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.
"The bottom line is that this is a decent budget," said Dias. "While it
does not go as far as I would like, it does provide important
investments in public services and infrastructure as well as resources
for continuing Ontario's economic recovery. We hope the NDP will work
with the Liberals to pass the budget."
Highlights from today's budget that will improve the lives of working
people in Ontario include:
the establishment of a $2.5-million Jobs and Prosperity Fund, including
the development of a strategy to support advanced manufacturing
the proposed establishment of an Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (the
details of the plan are still not determined)
a realistic and long-term plan to invest in public transit
increased wages for Personal Support Workers and Early Childhood
the permanent indexation of the Ontario Child Benefit
expansion of dental services to low-income children
introduction of health benefits to low-income children
a 1% increase to social assistance
progressive income tax reform
increased supports for Aboriginal communities
"With the leadership of Kathleen Wynne and Andrea Horwath, Ontario has
the opportunity to rebuild and ensure all Ontarians can prosper. This
is in sharp contrast to Tim Hudak's vision, which would result in a
devastating race to the bottom," said Dias.
"The establishment of the Jobs and Prosperity Fund is critical to making
the strategic investments in Ontario's economy that we need to ensure
the long-term success of our province," stressed Dias. "Every
successful economy around the world makes careful and strategic
investments to ensure success and growth."
While Unifor is supporting the budget, the union is disappointed the
budget does not go further towards protecting the rights and futures of
Ontario workers .
"The proposed framework of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan is a good
start. However, the devils are in the details - and those details are
yet to be worked out," cautioned Dias. "This needs to be a mandatory
plan that provides every Ontario worker with access to a guaranteed
level of support in their old age. No one should be left guessing
whether they'll be able to afford groceries that month."
Unifor's other concerns include:
spending in health will not keep up with inflation and population growth
the spending announced for the Youth Employment Strategy is a
re-announcement of funding announced in 2013
despite an emphasis on increasing levels of home care, there is a no
mention of the need to reform the system to ensure adequate and
equitable levels of care
despite making other proposals regarding long-term care, the government
has yet to commit to implementing an evidence-based, minimum,
measurable, enforceable standard of care in long-term care and nursing
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing
more than 305,000 workers, of which 158, 000 are in Ontario. Unifor was
formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the
Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.
For further information:
please contact Sarah Blackstock at 416-949-1072.