Ontario has spoken

June 13, 2014

The new President of the Canadian Labour Congress says voters in Ontario sent a clear message when they rejected the politics of austerity and declined to vote for policies that target working people as the scapegoats for the economic failure of others.

“If you think you can win by blaming workers for the problems caused by others, you better think again. People see the unfairness. They don’t like it. They will stand up to you and you will lose, just like Tim Hudak.” said Hassan Yussuff.

But that wasn’t the only message that Ontario voters sent, according to Yussuff. They delivered a message to Stephen Harper about retirement security by rejecting his own government’s arguments against expanding the Canada Pension Plan.

“Two in every three Ontario workers don’t have a workplace pension. Kathleen Wynne ran on her budget, and the centrepiece of that budget was a plan to improve the retirement security of Ontarians. Now it’s time for the federal government to accept that Canadians want action on retirement security.”

Yussuff was commenting on Thursday’s election results in Ontario. In its 2014 budget, the Ontario government proposed a provincial pension plan similar to the Canada Pension Plan. The province was provoked to begin developing the provincial plan after the federal government unilaterally ended discussions on CPP expansion in December 2013. Manitoba and PEI have joined the working group developing the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, and other provinces are deliberating whether to join.

“Conservative in Ontario used the same scare tactics in the campaign that opponents of CPP expansion have been using. But Ontario voters didn’t buy it. They said loud and clear that retirement security is a priority. But voters in all provinces are telling us the same thing. The federal government must listen,” said Yussuff.

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.3 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada’s national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 111 district labour councils.

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