Tag Archives: Belleville

“No downloading of ODSP” message wins support

From OPSEU.org

May 23, 2012

OPSEU members who work for the Ontario Disability Support Program spoke out against the downloading of the provincial program to municipalities in seven communities.

Members handed out flyers to the public before work or during their lunch hour in Sarnia, Hamilton, Brantford, Peterborough, Belleville, Smiths Falls and Sault Ste. Marie. Hawkesbury ODSP members showed their concern about downloading by wearing black and holding a lunchtime info session.

“There was loads of support from people,” said Bev Quackenbush, an ODSP caseworker and president of Local 123 in Sarnia. ODSP members handed out 250 flyers before work outside a local mall. “People honked their horns and everyone took our flyers.”

Local Labour Councils and Area Councils participated in many of the events. ODSP clients were supportive.

Local 455 president Pam Smith of the ODSP office in Belleville said: “One client summed it up best: I really like having my own case worker, the service is so much better now than before, it doesn’t make sense to change it.”

The union is concerned a provincial Commission will recommend combining ODSP with Ontario Works in its final report in June. The union believes this will remove long-term support for people with disabilities and lead to inconsistent delivery of services across the province. A recent overhaul to customer service was designed to end delays and provide long-term, seamless support to clients.

Photos from Local 455, Belleville

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Dalton’s Message to Belleville

Belleville, Ontario

By gaffer1956 on Flickr

This past Friday, Premier Mc Guinty blew into town on the heels of a snowstorm to announce at a Luncheon meeting his plans for Ontario’s future and what he described as Belleville’s rosy future under his government’s economic plan. His well practised speech glossed over the negative impact his parties socially and fiscally reckless, corporate tax cuts will have on this community.

Here we are in Ontario already running a deficit, because of the financial crisis engineered by Wall Street greed and deregulation, and the Provincial Liberals are marching in economic lock step with the Corporate Conservatives to cut government revenue by a further $2.4 billion and add to our debt through untargeted corporate tax cuts to profitable corporations. The lion’s share of this irresponsible corporate giveaway to Bay Street will be extracted from the people who shop in places like Front Street and live in communities like Belleville across Ontario.

Belleville Chamber of Commerce LuncheonNot to be out done by the Corporate Conservatives, jobs are being slashed. Yet the Premier forgot to mention the 70 plus families in Belleville who work directly for the Ontario government who he has determined will lose their jobs, or the nearly 2,000 other Belleville and area families, who under the Premier are expected to take pay cuts to fund this latest handout to the super rich. Most of these employees are women. These job losses will mean lost services for Belleville’s people and customers with less money to spend in the Local business. How many Bay Street Billionaires shop on Front Street?

Why is Dalton acting like Harper? Why is he attacking working women? Many think public servants are generously paid; yet 40% make less than $40,000 per year. But as a 2009 study found, the big difference between public and private sector wages is gender discrimination. In the public sector, women are much more likely to be fairly paid compared to men. In the private sector, wage discrimination based on gender is common, especially in lower-paid service jobs. Yet the main plank in Dalton’s plan for the economic future of Ontario is to roll back women’s wages and give that money to the Billionaires of Bay Street, who are almost universally white men. MPP Leona Dembrosky supports this future.

Right wing politicians would have you believe that corporate tax cuts create jobs. Maybe our tax cuts do create jobs, but jobs in Mexico, not here! The truth is that corporate tax cuts are the single most expensive way to attempt to create jobs. In fact in the last ten years as corporate taxes in Ontario have been irresponsibly slashed, corporate investment in Ontario has actually gone down! That’s right down. So while these tax cuts don’t create jobs, they do reduce funding for Health Care, Education, and the Social Services of all stripes services which we all rely on.

What does Bay Street do with their yearly tax windfalls? They spend it on themselves. They now pay themselves on average over 155 times what a working Canadian earns plus obscene bonuses. The CEO of the Bank of Montreal just announced that his bonus for last year is up 80 percent over the previous year to $2.9 million. And that folks is the vision that Leona and Dalton have for Ontario.

Dave Lundy

Regional Vice President Region 4, Ontario Public Service Employees Union. Cell 613 213 1953