For Immediate Release, February 12, 2014
Saskatoon – Members and leaders of the Service Employees International Union West (SEIU-West) watched to see how the Federal government’s budget intended to improve lives for Canadian working families.
“This budget was a glorified savings plan that was low on detail and long on ‘next year’,” said Barbara Cape, President of SEIU-West. “While Minister Flaherty is looking to curtail spending today for a projected surplus in 2015, public programs and services that are funded through our tax dollars have being eliminated or reduced.”
Much needed public services and programs – like employment insurance, postal delivery and veterans’ affairs – have faced cuts over the past several years which inhibit Canadians’ ability to access help from their government when they need it and this budget does nothing to improve this situation.
“It is interesting that this government keeps missing a key source of revenue,” said Cape. “Large corporations have been escaping their social responsibility and have not been paying their fair share of the tax load. Wouldn’t it be better if there was stable revenue coming from these companies and if they paid their fair share through the tax system like the average taxpayer?”
They have also done nothing to address the pitfalls of the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program which has little protection for these workers and no real penalties for companies that exploit them. Situations like the recent experience in Fort McMurray are examples of the industry ‘self regulating’ under the TFW program with disastrous results.
“Budget decisions should improve life for those who need these services, not increase their risk or vulnerability. For example, the changes to the Old Age Security Plan which make it necessary for seniors to work longer. How about a plan to maintain home mail delivery where possible, and expand the Canada Health Act to include home care services which would actually improve conditions for our seniors who deserve so much better?
“Our government should be in the business of making life better for Canadians…not taking them for granted.” concluded Cape.
SEIU-West represents more than thirteen thousand working people in the province of Saskatchewan. They include members who work in healthcare, education, municipalities, community-based organizations, retirement homes and other sectors.
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For more information, contact:
Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator
Phone: 306.652.1011 ext. 2250
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