TORONTO, Jan. 27, 2013 /CNW/ - The president of the Ontario Public
Service Employees Union has congratulated Kathleen Wynne on her victory
in the Ontario Liberal Party leadership race and is calling on her to
make fairness the guiding principle of her government when she becomes
the province's first-ever female Premier.
"Our message to Liberal delegates going in to the Convention yesterday
asked them to 'Vote for the 99 per cent,' OPSEU President Warren
(Smokey) Thomas said. "We sincerely hope they did. We look forward to
working with Premier Wynne to rebuild public services, restore respect
for democratic rights, and deal with the province's economic and fiscal
problems in a way that is fair for everyone."
Provincial Liberals can learn a lot from the precipitous downfall of
outgoing Premier Dalton McGuinty, Thomas said.
"Historians may say spending scandals ended the McGuinty era, but what
really brought Mr. McGuinty down goes much deeper," he said. "His
response to the 2008-09 recession was to punish the public sector -
even though Ontario program spending per capita is the lowest of any
Canadian province - while transferring more wealth to Bay Street and
big corporations through corporate tax cuts, the HST, and uncontrolled
privatization of things like air ambulance and electricity generation.
"The legislative excesses related to collective bargaining were merely
the logical outcome of the overall direction of the last four years."
Ontario has an opportunity to address many of its problems quickly if
guided by fairness, Thomas said.
"The idea that a school board worker in Sudbury trying to raise three
kids on $37,000 a year needs to take a pay cut while the most
profitable corporations in the country are boosting bonuses for top
executives is, I believe, obscene," Thomas said. "Our members have
already demonstrated a commitment to being part of the solution, but we
have not seen any such commitment from those at the top of the heap."
OPSEU represents 125,000 working Ontarians and has members serving every
community in the province.
For further information:
Warren (Smokey) Thomas (613) 329-1931