Mar 162017
 

By Dave McKee, CPC (Ontario) leader

Great Lakes Power Transmission in Sault St. Marie, Orillia Power Distributing Corporation, Peterborough Distribution Inc., Wellington North Power in Mount Forest, Haldimand County Utilities, Guelph Hydro, Toronto Hydro. Over the past three years Hydro One, Ontario’s largest publicly owned electricity transmission and distribution utility, has moved to purchase a wide swath of local utilities, most of them publicly owned.

On the surface, it sounds okay – Hydro One’s public argument has been that the mergers make the public electricity system more efficient and effective, yielding lower costs and greater reliability. Public-to-public takeovers are a win-win deal for everyone, right?

Not so fast. Continue reading »

Nov 252016
 

As in other parts of Canada, the working class in Ontario is experiencing a deep wage and employment crisis, which threatens the living standards of millions of people in the province. But it also sees the ruling class filling its bank accounts. The provincial government’s Universal Basic Income plan – dressed up as a progressive social reform – is actually a vehicle to legislatively entrench this situation.

For the past two decades, the official poverty rate in Ontario has remained in the 10-13% range. This means that, at a minimum, over 1 million people live below the poverty line each year in the province.

Furthermore, welfare rates continue to drop further beneath the poverty line. Currently, this “poverty gap” for 160,000 single adults on social assistance is 60% – they receive only $8500 per year, $12,300 below the poverty line in Ontario. Tens of thousands cannot afford to properly feed themselves or retain their housing, leading to more hunger and homelessness.

The Ontario Association of Food Banks reported that 360,000 people used a food bank each day in 2015, with a 35% increase in the number of seniors and a total of 10,000 more food bank visits over the previous year. Conditions in northern and rural areas are worse, as people are spread over large areas, many in isolated communities. Continue reading »

May 072016
 

The Ontario Nominating Convention of the Communist Party of Canada expresses its solidarity with Gilary Massa, who was fired on December 2015 by her employer, the Ryerson University Students Union, while she was on maternity leave. Her dismissal is a harsh, shameful act that violated her basic rights and openly attacks women’s equality. We support the #IStandWithGilary campaign and its Mothers’ Day Rally for Maternity Leave on May 8.

No one should be subjected to public humiliation simply for taking maternity leave, and then expecting to have their job upon their return. When women are denied the right to maternity leave, they are being told that they are less worthy of employment, that they are less of a person. Continue reading »

Apr 222016
 

The Communist Party of Canada-Ontario extends its full support to the members of Local 71201 of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, who have been locked out by the Ontario Lottery Gaming Corporation (OLG) at the Rideau-Carleton Raceway Slots (RCRS) in Ottawa.

OLG locked out its 124 union workers on December 14, 2015 after the union rejected the corporation’s demands for a 2-year wage freeze – extending a previous 7-year wage freeze – and language requiring the members’ pension plan be stricken from any future collective agreement. Even though OLG claimed it was bound by the Liberal government’s “net zero increase” for public sector workers, it gave its management employees a 2% increase.

On April 14, 2016 the workers overwhelmingly rejected OLG’s latest offer of a five-year deal with a wage freeze for three of those years. OLG falsely claims their offer provides a 20% wage increase over 5 years. In reality, the offer adds up to only 6.75% over 5 years. The locked out workers have not received a wage increase since 2009, during which time the local cost of living has risen by over 10%, leaving them with significant real wage losses. Continue reading »