ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 01/12/13 -- Outraged at the McGuinty governments' deep cuts to social programs and the recent attack on the democratic rights of education workers, Niagara community members will be gathering on Saturday, January 12 for a public town hall meeting. The forum will provide an opportunity for local residents to discuss the impact of job loss and public service cuts in their communities and develop plans to bring pressure to bear on local members of parliament.
The meeting will address local concern over the fact that Niagara is tied for the fifth highest rate of unemployment of 33 municipalities in Canada. With so many desperate for work, it is no wonder that approximately 14 percent of Niagara Region residents are living on incomes below the low income cutoff (LICO) and food bank usage leapt by nearly 40 percent over five years. However, the impact of cuts is being felt across most income levels. A recent report from the Ontario Common Front revealed that fully 40 percent of Ontario families have seen their incomes stagnate or fall over the last decade, as Ontario's social program funding lags behind every other province by nearly every measure.
"In communities across the province, families are falling further behind because of McGuinty's cuts to vital services and social programs, while corporate tax cuts continue to starve Ontario's economy of $15 billion annually," said Nancy Hutchison, Secretary-Treasurer of the Ontario Federation of Labour. "Struggling families here in St. Catharines and the Niagara Region are right to demand fairness and equity from the McGuinty government. Investing in jobs, protecting services and safeguarding workers' democratic rights is the only way to prevent a double-dip recession and address rising inequality."
WHAT: Niagara Community Town Hall Meeting on Economic & Democratic Rights WHEN: Saturday, January 12 from 1:00 - 3:00 pm WHERE: CAW Hall, 124 Bunting Road, St. Catharines
"Labour and community groups have come together to launch an Ontario Common Front against cuts to jobs and services. We are building partnerships in every community - from Windsor to Niagara Falls to Thunder Bay," said Hutchison. "It is time for the people to start setting the agenda."
The Niagara town hall is one in a series of regional meetings taking place across Ontario in the lead-up to the Ontario Liberal Leadership Convention and what many view as an inevitable spring election. Community and labour groups have banded together to call on the government to recall the legislature, protect workers' rights and invest in the jobs and services.
For more information, visit: www.ofl.ca/index.php/campaigns/democraticrights.