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Devastated by a far-reaching anti-worker bill (Bill 115 passed a few days ago), rank-and-file education workers convened a funeral for collective bargaining rights on the lawn of Queen's Park, Monday September 10, 2012. Workers and friends joined to reflect on our loss and pledge ourselves for the future.
Dearly beloved, we rank-and-file members and education workers have gathered here today indeed during a very solemn dark day to commemorate another victim in the death of the march to austerity. As the McGuinty Government continues his attack on the rights of working people, as he attempts to pass such foul and distasteful legislation named the "Putting Students First Act."
Who will save our schools, and public education?
Not Premier Dalton McGuinty, who's bought into the common obsession that the money "just isn't there." So he freezes public sector wages, pulling even more money out of the economy, assuring there'll be even less in taxes to spend on programs, leading to the same death spiral that Europe is following. I know high-school kids who understand this better than Dalton, but maybe it's because they can still take economics and business courses -- although his stress on standardized tests in the "basics" is undermining all that.
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In the early 1990s, CTV broadcaster Eric Malling told Canadians the sad tale of a baby hippo shot by authorities at a New Zealand zoo.
Sad, but apparently necessary, Malling suggested in a special broadcast from down under. After all, New Zealand had big deficits, so there was no money to expand the hippo pen. What was a country to do but blow the newborn hippo away?
Malling's cautionary tale, which helped pitch an austerity agenda to Canadians 20 years ago, wouldn't seem out of place today, as we're once again being urged to hunker down for lean, mean times.
Tell Premier McGuinty to build Ontario, not tear it apart.
Premier McGuinty put banker Don Drummond in charge of recommending nearly 400 cuts to jobs and public services in Ontario. At a time when Ontarians are in desperate need of economic recovery, these cuts will jeopardize every aspect of society: from health care to full-day kindergarten to pensions. No public service is safe. However, in McGuinty's reckless plan to balance Ontario's books by putting more people out of work and destroying the social safety net, he refuses to roll-back corporate tax cuts that are starving the province of billions of dollars that could be better used to create new jobs and help tens of thousands of struggling Ontario families to get back on their feet.
On March 27, residents of Ontario will get a clear picture of the implications of choosing to eliminate the public debt by 2017-18 within the current public revenue framework.
The key question to be considered: how much are we willing to lose in order to eliminate the deficit without increasing government revenue?
Based on Ontario public accounts, over the last five years (fiscal year 2006 to fiscal year 2010), health-care spending in Ontario increased at an average nominal rate of 7.1 per cent per year.