TORONTO, Feb. 13, 2019 /CNW/ - OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is warning Ontarians not to be taken in by the Ford government's announcement on Wednesday that the deficit has been reduced.
"Today's news is nothing but another fruitless attempt at shameless self-promotion," said Thomas. "Doug Ford takes credit for job increases that happened before he got elected. He takes credit for low gasoline prices that have nothing to do with their policies. And now he is taking credit for lower deficit numbers that are a reflection of Ontario's years-long economic roll. It's interesting how the new numbers are pretty close to the old numbers supplied by the Auditor General.
"The truth is that Ontario is richer than it has ever been before," said Thomas. "The deficit isn't the problem. The problem is that Ford is giving more and more of our wealth away to his friends and donors in the corporate boardroom."
As the wealthy few get wealthier, life gets harder and less affordable for the people and workers of Ontario.
"At the heart of every announcement this government makes is an extremely dangerous policy choice: privatization," said Thomas. "And this one is no different. After announcing the lower deficit numbers, the Ford Conservatives went on to announce a cross-government spending freeze and that they've hired a privatization-industry insider at $2,500 a day."
The insider, Charles-Antoine St-Jean, spent much of his career at the private-sector financial firm Ernst & Young (EY), which specializes in privatizing and selling off public services and assets. The same firm that provided the first audit, that was a non-audit, early in the Ford mandate.
OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida pointed out the irony.
"This government is so bent on privatization that they're now even privatizing their own Minister's work," said Almeida. "It's like a bad joke, except the people of Ontario are getting slugged by the punchline."
Thomas urged Ford's backbench MPPs to get a handle on their Premier before he takes them down in flames.
"Just look at the federal Liberals, who are paying the price for their cozy and corrupt P3 relationship with SNC-Lavalin," said Thomas. "The provincial Conservatives will end up paying the same price if they don't back away from all the privatization pushers at EY."
SOURCE Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)
For further information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931