Communist Party of Canada (Ontario)
Withdraw Bill 155, repeal Bill 115 and restore Free Collective Bargaining in the Public Sector!
The Communist Party of Canada (Ontario) condemns Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty’s indefinite proroguing of the Provincial Parliament and suspension of parliamentary democracy, and demands the government recall Parliament and end its abuse of power.
Unable to pass his government’s anti-democratic “Protecting Public Services Act” (Bill 155) – which would legislate a wage freeze and suspend free collective bargaining across the public sector – the Premier wants to dispense with Parliament and try to impose his program of austerity without legislation. The government also hopes to evade any accountability or responsibility in the on-going exposure of wrong-doing by government Ministers and agencies.
The Liberals were counting on the Tories to support Bill 155, but the Tories are demanding the government go much further. The Tories are already campaigning to disembowel existing labour laws under the slogan of ‘flexible’ labour law ‘reform’. They want to eliminate the Rand Formula, make Ontario a right to work jurisdiction, and break the back of the labour movement as has been done in Wisconsin, Ohio, and other US states.
The Premier has said he will use the next months to force a negotiated wage freeze onto public sector unions. A negotiated wage freeze has the support of NDP leader Andrea Horwath according to statements made at a recent news conference filmed by CP24. While the NDP opposed a legislated freeze, they support a negotiated freeze. The NDP caucus apparently believes that working people should pay for an economic crisis caused by corporate greed and ably assisted by right-wing governments in Ontario and elsewhere. The 99% would disagree with the caucus, just as they disagreed with Bob Rae’s social contract in 1993.
The Liberals’ anti-labour, anti-democratic austerity agenda has provoked massive public opposition, including ongoing protests and demonstrations. The prorogation is bound to generate even more opposition as public outrage at the government’s abuse of power spills over.
The Communist Party calls on the Premier to immediately recall the Legislature, and move quickly to withdraw Bill 155, repeal Bill 115, and allow the province’s public employers and public sector unions to move forward to freely negotiate unfettered collective agreements.
The Premier must also take the strong medicine needed to clean up the corruption caused by years of privatization and deregulation by stealth, including ORNGE and other P3 arrangements, and by votebuying in ridings with gas plants.
The Communist Party also demands that the Premier and the Liberal government, as well as the Tories and the NDP remove themselves from collective bargaining and let the public employers and public sector unions exercise their bargaining rights to negotiate free and unfettered agreements.
We stand with labour and all those who oppose this government’s austerity policies, and the efforts to download the costs of the economic crisis onto the backs of working people through this on-going attack on public sector wages, pensions, jobs and public services. A massive struggle against austerity in the streets and at the bargaining table is the only way to beat back the attack on wages, incomes, jobs and living standards, and save public services and assets.
Another Ontario is possible. And urgent. The Communist Party offers a 10 point prescription that is a pro-people alternative to austerity and is detailed on our web site.