TORONTO, Feb. 15, 2012 /CNW/ - The United Steelworkers union (USW),
which represents thousands of employees at universities and other
provincially funded institutions, questions the Drummond Commission's
premise that Ontario must slash important public services.
"The McGuinty government appointed the Drummond Commission to set the
stage for cutbacks," said Ken Neumann, USW's National Director for
Canada. "But the proposed austerity would damage Ontario's fragile
economy and eliminate thousands of jobs."
Drummond posits a $30-billion deficit by making far more pessimistic
assumptions than the last provincial budget or most private-sector
economists. Since the McGuinty government ruled out any consideration
of tax rates, such as reversing recent corporate tax cuts, Drummond
proposes to close this projected "gap" by slashing important public
"We are particularly concerned about Drummond's recommendation to
terminate or privatize Ontario's Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund, which
insures pensions when an employer goes bankrupt," said Wayne Fraser,
USW's Ontario Director.
"This self-financed insurance fund is an essential pillar of retirement
security for Ontario workers," Fraser said. "Terminating or weakening
this fund would threaten the retirement security of tens of thousands
of our members and other working families across this province."
The Drummond Commission rightly warns that the proposed Canada-EU free
trade deal would significantly increase drug costs for Ontario's
The report makes some sensible recommendations to collect more revenue
by removing corporate tax breaks like the resource allowance and
cracking down on business tax avoidance.
However, the USW believes the Ontario government also should restore a
14-per-cent provincial corporate income tax rate.
"A good starting point for the McGuinty government would be to stop
handing over billions in tax giveaways to profitable corporations," Ken
"Instead, the McGuinty-Drummond plan manipulates a false sense of crisis
to impose austerity measures that threaten to harm our economy and kill
thousands of jobs."
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information:
Wayne Fraser, USW District 6 Director, 416-243-8792; /
Ken Neumann USW National Director, 416-544-5950; /
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-434-2221, 416-544-5966, /