TORONTO, Feb. 15, 2012 /CNW/ - Bank economist Don Drummond's call for radical cuts, transformations and privatization of provincial public services is out of step with what most Ontarians want, the president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union says.
"Ontarians want to see their public services protected and improved; they want to see corporations and high-income earners pay their fair share in taxes; and they want to reduce the deficit through job creation," Warren (Smokey) Thomas said today. "Mr. Drummond wants to take an axe to public services, ignore tax fairness, and actively kill jobs by taking money out of communities.
"It's not what Ontarians want, and it won't work.
"The majority of Ontarians believe in quality public services, income equality, fair taxation, and a province based on prosperity not austerity," Thomas added.
To address the deficit, Premier Dalton McGuinty must get more acquainted with the alternatives to Drummond's "austerity" plans, Thomas added.
"Mr. Drummond's recommendations will increase social and income inequality in Ontario at a time when people around the world know that inequality has gone too far," he said. "Instead, we need a plan to reduce inequality. That means more support for low-income people and more security for the middle class.
"It also does not mean handing over our public assets and public services to wealthy investors."
Thomas advised the Premier to listen to the people who elected him before getting carried away by Drummond's approach.
"From what we learned from Angus Reid in December, Liberal voters are enthusiastic supporters of quality public services, tax fairness, and job creation," he said. "I want to say to the Premier that, politically speaking, if posterity is what happens after you die, austerity is how you will get there.
"Instead of just listening to Drummond the Premier should turn to the people of Ontario for answers. OPSEU members want to engage in a positive dialogue with those that seek to protect the quality of Ontario life," stated Thomas. "We are the solution, through engagement we can help."
For further information:
Warren (Smokey) Thomas (613) 329-1931 (cell)