Ontario’s 2023 Budget Must Actually Work for Workers
TORONTO, March 16, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In advance of the 2023 Provincial Budget, the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) says the Ford government must address the hardships that Ontarians are experiencing. These include wages that have been frozen or cut, a cost-of-living crisis, and crumbling public services. The OFL’s 2023 Pre-Budget Submission provides recommendations to address the concerns of working-class people.
“Ontarians deserve a budget that improves the lives of working people,” said Patty Coates, Ontario Federation of Labour President. “We deserve stable working conditions, strong public services, affordable homes, and healthy communities for all.”
The OFL’s Pre-Budget Submission provides recommendations for the 2023 Provincial Budget under five categories: Real Wage Increases, Keep Schools and Health Care Public, Rent Control and Affordable Housing, Affordable Groceries, Gas, and Basic Goods, and Make Corporations and the Wealthy Pay. Proposals include:
- Stop the appeal of Bill 124. The Ford government must stop spending public dollars to fight workers in court and accept the Superior Court’s ruling that the wage restraint legislation violates workers’ constitutional rights to collectively bargain and to strike. It’s time to respect workers impacted by Bill 124.
- Make it easier for workers to join a union because a union is the best way to make meaningful improvements to working conditions, pay, and retirement benefits – and it should be easier to join one.
- Stop the privatization of health care. The Ford government must address the health care crisis by resourcing and supporting local public hospitals, rather than funneling money and resources to for-profit clinics and hospitals. Ontarians need meaningful action to fix the healthcare staffing crisis.
- Stop short-changing education. The Ford government must make investments in education that keep up. Last year, there was only a 3.4 per cent increase – significantly below inflation and enrollment growth.
- Build housing in a sustainable manner and without threatening the environment by launching a province-wide public housing program, building housing without threatening the Greenbelt, and stopping evictions and foreclosures.
- Tax the record profits of corporations. The Ford government must fix the unequal distribution of who benefits from economic growth. While corporate profits capture record economic growth, workers are grappling with an affordability crisis.
“We know the money is there to improve working people’s lives,” said Coates, “The Financial Accountability Office has demonstrated that this government is overstating the deficit, understating revenues, and starving public services. Enough is enough. It’s time to actually work for workers.”
For more information, please contact:
Director of Communications
Ontario Federation of Labour
[email protected] l 416-894-3456