Hello Brothers & Sisters,
The 43rd Canadian general election is upon us and each and every one of us should be prepared to mark our “X” on the 21st or on the advanced polls should you desire.
At this time in Canadian history we must decide if change, for the sake of change, is in the best interest of families in general and the Union Movement as a whole. We, as unionized trades, are socially progressive as we are always trying to improve working conditions as well as provide meaningful pension and health and welfare benefits for our members. But due to the cyclical nature of construction we are, for the most part, conservative in our values. We are always concerned on how rising taxes and seemingly unchecked spending affect our families. What we must not do is confuse our conservative values with the Conservative party.
All we have to do is look at what Doug Ford is doing to this province in his hunt for “inefficiencies”, and we can easily see what his partners in the Federal Conservatives would do as well. Here is a partial list of Ford’s accomplishments to date;
- Ended Cap & Trade at a cost of 3 billion
- Cut 700 + green energy projects
- Slashed 50% of flood management funds
- Ended Drive Clean
- Ended electric & hydrogen vehicle incentives
- Ended pharmacare program at a cost to your health and welfare plan
- Cut new mental health funding from 2.1 billion over four years to 1.9 billion over 10 years
- Cut one million from Leave the Pack Behind, a youth quit smoking program
- Dissolved local health units before having an alternative plan in place
- Removed 100 million budgeted for school repairs
- Removed 25 million from education for tutors, leadership programs etc.
- Reduced financial assistance by 300 million for college and university students
- Scrapped Ontario College of Trades resulting in a lowering of apprenticeship ratio to 1:1 as well as introducing “skill sets” which will water down our trade allowing others to do our work
- Reduced legal aid by 30%
- Withheld 14.8 million for new and existing sexual assault centers
- Dissolved Ontario’s Criminal Injuries Compensation Board
- Cut one billion across the board
- Cancelled minimum wage increase and P.E.L. days
- Cut W.S.I.B. payments to workers by 30%
- Cut library service funding in half
- Cut 84.5 million for children and at risk youth
To sum up Brothers and Sisters we must place our mark on October 21st but please do so with an intelligent, informed approach. We must temper our need to get spending under control with the fact that cuts to spending, under a Conservative Government, also includes cuts to the social safety net that help the less fortunate in our society. That, in my view, is not what our organization has or will ever, stand for.
Pat Dool, Business Manager, Financial Secretary/Treasurer