RICHMOND HILL, ON, Sept. 7, 2012 /CNW/ - Voters in Kitchener-Waterloo
sent a strong message in last night's by-election that the Ontario
government should return to its former constructive approach of working
with its partners to find solutions to managing costs in the broader
public sector, particularly in education and healthcare.
NDP candidate Catherine Fife won the Southern Ontario riding of
Kitchener-Waterloo Thursday evening, mainly the result of opposition to
the Liberal government's heavy-handed approach of trying to scapegoat
frontline staff like teachers and healthcare workers and suspending
their collective bargaining rights.
"The politics of confrontation have clearly not worked out for this
government," said Sharleen Stewart, President of Service Employees
International Union Local 1 Canada (SEIU), representing more than
50,000 healthcare workers in Ontario. "The Ontario government needs to
return to a path of constructive dialogue with its partners aimed at
finding solutions, especially in healthcare."
In Vaughan, meanwhile, Liberal candidate Steven Del Duca was declared
the winner of the riding's by-election. Del Duca, director of public
affairs for the Carpenters District Council of Ontario and past chair
of the Vaughan Healthcare Foundation, has been a tireless advocate for
local community health services and a new hospital for Vaughan.
SEIU members were out in force in the Kitchener-Waterloo and Vaughan
ridings on Thursday, knocking on doors to get out the vote and
encourage people to elect the candidate they thought best equipped to
constructively manage public services like education and healthcare.
"In sectors like education and healthcare, real savings will come not
from political saber-rattling, but from finding creative solutions -
like shifting care to the community or fully utilizing allied
professions like registered practical nurses (RPNs)," said Stewart.
Stewart added that the by-election results underscored that playing
politics with the lives of school children and patients, and the people
who care for and serve them, is not the way Ontarians want to be
Nonetheless, Premier McGuinty said his Liberal government would not back
down from its contentious legislation that would impose contracts on
teachers and school boards. He also announced plans to introduce
additional legislation targeting the broader public sector this fall,
despite legal opinions that these bills would be struck down by the
courts after costly legal battles, because they violate the right to
free association protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Apparently the Premier has yet to get the public's message.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1 Canada
represents more than 50,000 healthcare and community services workers
in Ontario. SEIU members work in hospitals, home care, nursing and
retirement homes and community services throughout the province. SEIU
Local 1 Canada has a strong track record of improving wages, benefits
and working conditions for healthcare workers, as well as strengthening
standards in patient and client care.
SOURCE: Service Employees International Union Local 1 Canada
For further information:
SEIU Local 1 Canada
125 Mural Street, Suite 202
Richmond Hill, Ontario
(905) 695-1767 ext 3079
Telephone (905) 695-1767, ext. 3079
Cell: 416 347 4906