Nov 162015
 

The privatization of Hydro One has begun. In the first week of November, the first public offering of Hydro stocks resulted in the sale of about 10% of the public utility, generating great excitement on the TSX where the RBC Capital Markets and ScotiaBank led the pack in scooping up the largest parts of this and future offerings.

The Hydro One firesale is an out and out gift to the banks and corporations, in exchange for some quick money to fund the government’s unfunded $30 billion infrastructure program – one of two key promises that won them the June 2014 Ontario election.

The government says the main objective of the sale is funding for the infrastructure program. But only $4.6 billion will be realized by the sale – less than one-sixth of what’s needed – and at a huge cost to the public.

Instead, this $30 billion could be generated by reversing an estimated $15 billion in corporate tax cuts and by increasing the corporate tax rate to 22% for an additional $10.5 billion annually. That would raise the funds for the infrastructure program, and maintain Hydro One as a public utility. It would also generate a much larger, and stable revenue stream for other public projects, like public hospitals, the long promised (but never delivered) needs-based funding formula for education, or a provincial system of affordable public childcare, urban and inter-urban public transit. Continue reading »

Jul 092015
 

In response to the Ontario Government’s plan to sell 60% of Hydro One, the Communist Party of Canada (Ontario) has announced a campaign to inform and energize the public against the privatization scheme.

The Liberals intend to sell Hydro One, the distribution network of Ontario’s public electric power system, to private companies, despite growing opposition within the Ontario legislature and in the population at large. The proposal was part of the omnibus budget bill that passed the legislature on the last day before the summer recess. Part of the budget removed most of the regulatory measures which governed Hydro One as a public utility.

The Government’s excuse for selling off one of the most important public assets owned by the people of Ontario was to provide capital to finance its $30 billion public infrastructure project, the key proposal in its election campaign. It did not campaign on privatizing Ontario Hydro, however.

This privatization plan, the continuation of the corporate austerity campaign, has many aspects that attack the living standard and the democratic rights of the people of Ontario: Continue reading »

May 192014
 

Rowley TCCommunist Candidates Fight for Policies to Put People’s Needs Before Corporate Greed

This provincial election is an important one for working people. Federal and provincial austerity policies are driving Ontario into another deep economic crisis. There is a huge gap between the rich and the rest. Poverty is on the rise and unemployment remains staggeringly high. Austerity policies are the order of the day for all the parties in the Legislature. That’s why the Communist Party of Canada (Ontario)’s eleven candidates are gaining traction with voters.

“The Liberals sorry record starts with their broken promises to reverse the destructive legacy of the last Tory government, while in fact they’ve continued down the same pro-corporate path of privatization and belt-tightening,” said Elizabeth Rowley, Provincial leader of the Communist Party of Canada (Ontario).

While many Ontarians are justifiably angry with the Liberals, the main danger is the possible election of a Tim Hudak Conservative Government. “Their agenda is no secret, and it starts with 100,000 lay-offs in the public sector, slashing wages, demolishing public services, healthcare and education, smashing labour and democratic rights and turning the clock back 75 years,” stated Rowley.

Meanwhile the NDP has raced to the right on issues such as the minimum wage, taxation and government spending.

The Communist Party is offering a fundamentally different set of policies “to deliver an agenda that serves people’s needs and curbs corporate greed”.

Rowley described the Communist election campaign as providing an alternative that many people are responding warmly to: “We need a real break with austerity governments in order to create good jobs and raise wages and living standards for working people in Ontario. We need MPPs who will join with unions and people’s movements and fight to curb corporate power and implement a progressive agenda. Another Ontario is possible and urgently needed!”.

The Communist Party candidates will fight for a People’s Agenda for Ontario:
• Good jobs, better pensions, a livable minimum wage
• An industrial and manufacturing strategy for Ontario
• Affordable housing and rent controls
• Quality public services, healthcare and hospitals
• One universal, quality, secular education system
• A quality, affordable public childcare system
• A healthy, sustainable environment
• Public auto insurance & improved public transit
• Public power and lower rates
• Strong labour, democratic and equality rights
• Democratic electoral reform
• Tax relief for working people – tax corporations and the wealthy

Click here for the full platform.

The Communist Party is running 11 candidates in Ontario:

Brampton Springdale – Elizabeth Hill
Guelph – Juanita Burnett
Hamilton Centre – Bob Mann
London North Centre – Dave McKee
Ottawa Centre – Larry Wasslen
Ottawa South – Espoir Manirambona
St. Catharines – Saleh Waziruddin
Toronto Centre – Drew Garvie
Toronto Danforth – Elizabeth Rowley
Davenport – Mariam Ahmad
Don Valley West – Dimitrios (Jim) Kabitsis

 

For more information email: info@communistpartyontario.ca or call 416 469 2446

May 062014
 

The 2014 provincial budget was clearly an election budget aimed to position the Liberals to the left of the NDP on a range of social policy issues. These include the proposed defined benefit pension plan, increases to the child benefit program and the extension of free dental services to impoverished children, cost of living increases to the minimum wage, a small increase to single recipients of Ontario Works, and small wage increases to Personal Support Workers.

The 10-year, $29 billion investment in infrastructure renewal and jobs, a portion of which were to be earmarked for youth employment, would have provided significant economic stimulus and jobs, and improved urban and inter-urban public transportation. $11.4 billion was set aside for hospital construction, and another $11.1 billion for School Boards to repair aging schools and build new ones.

The budget also proposed a miniscule corporate tax increase, eliminating the tax break of 7% on the first $500,000 of income (currently taxed at the small business tax rate of 4.5%). It also projected a small tax increase for the 2% of the population with incomes over $150,000.

But the budget was clearly a Big Business budget, with privatization at the core of the funding proposals, the transformation of many public services into private public partnerships (AFR’s), and the promise of future deep cuts to the corporate tax rate, from the current 11.5% down to 10%. Public sector layoffs and wage cuts are built-in, implicit in a package that contains continued restraints to operating budgets in hospitals and healthcare, public and post-secondary education, and social programs. This is the Drummond Report, implemented over 10 years. Continue reading »