CORNWALL, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 4, 2012) - Outraged at the McGuinty governments' deep cuts to social programs and the recent attack on the democratic rights of education workers, Cornwall community members will be gathering on the evening of December 4 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 Cornwall is one of the poorest municipalities in all Ontario, home to a higher percentage of low-income households than both downtown Toronto neighbourhoods and isolated northern communities. While the provincial average median income is $62,327, average Cornwall families in two of the city's three postal codes are hovering at or below the $40,000 mark. As many as 24 percent of Cornwall households is struggling in a low-income situation. 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 Sid Ryan, President of the Ontario Federation of Labour. "Struggling families here in Cornwall 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: Cornwall Community Town Hall Meeting on Economic & Democratic Rights
WHEN: Tuesday, December 4 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm
WHERE: Royal Canadian Air Force, RCAF Wing 424 (240 Water Street, Cornwall)
"The impact of cuts here in Cornwall is more noticeable every day," said Cornwall & District Labour Council President Elaine MacDonald. "Many good paying jobs that have vacated the city and being replaced by temporary, low-wage and precarious ones. Families can't prosper in this economy without a measure of income security and the support of social programs."
"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 Cornwall to Thunder Bay," said Ryan. "It is time for the people to start setting the agenda."
The Cornwall 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, reverse Bill 115 and invest in the jobs and services.
For more information, visit: www.ofl.ca/index.php/campaigns/democraticrights.
The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit www.OFL.ca and follow the OFL on Facebook and Twitter: @OFLabour.