Throne Speech Means Stability: CUPE

WINNIPEG – Today’s Throne Speech means increased opportunities and more stability for Manitoba families.

“The government has once again given us the important assurance that they will not cut the vital services that Manitobans rely on,” said Kelly Moist, CUPE Manitoba President, “the cuts experienced in health care and education by the Conservatives in the 1990s are still fresh in the memories of our members”.

The government also announced that it would be focusing on building the province’s infrastructure, including better roads to rural and Northern communities – many of which are traveled on daily by CUPE members providing services to those communities.

“New infrastructure connecting rural and Northern communities means that our members, including midwives, school bus drivers, health care workers, and more, can get to-and-from their workplaces safely to deliver quality services to Manitobans” stated Moist “and doing this without cutting services at the same time is the type of leadership and innovation from the government that we can applaud”.

The province also committed to expanding and building on apprenticeship programs, ensuring that Manitoba has a strong, well-trained workforce for the future as well as further investments in Manitoba Hydro to ensure that Manitoba is well-endowed with skilled labour, and low utility rates.

“These are the types of initiatives that governments should be looking at to ensure the long-term benefit for Manitoba families” said Moist “investing now means that we can all enjoy a prosperous future.”

While the provincial government is looking to capitalize off the ill-conceived Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement achieved by the Federal government, CUPE remains opposed to the opportunities for privatization and P3s that agreements such as CETA provide, and expects that any private partnerships will be fully scrutinized and assessed through the new Manitoba P3 Accountability Legislation

“Although the government may be taking some political risks, it is important that we as a community realize that the alternative – what the Conservatives have to offer – is a bigger risk” concluded Moist “Manitobans should not forget that the opposite of improving services, is gutting them, and that’s not something we’ve seen this government do”.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canada’s largest union representing more than a half-million women and men. In Manitoba, CUPE represents 25,000 members who work in health care, school divisions, municipalities, personal care homes, childcare, public utilities, libraries and emergency services.