TORONTO – To mark the return of the Ontario Legislature, union and community leaders held a press conference to outline the urgent issues facing workers and to demand action. As workers face a cost-of-living crisis, wage suppression, and attacks on public services, Ontario Federation of Labour President (OFL), Patty Coates, highlighted that workers are saying: Enough is enough!
“Last week, I participated in the 2023 pre-Budget consultations. I told the Ford government that they can no longer turn away from the real hardships that the people of this province are experiencing,” said Coates. “And today, as the legislature resumes, I’m here to remind this government that they cannot continue to ignore working people. We will not let them.”
At the end of January, the OFL launched the Enough Is Enough campaign, which highlights five demands to tackle Ontario’s worsening cost-of-living crisis. Today, workers urged the Ford government to address the campaign’s demands:
- Real wage increases
- Keep schools and health care public
- Affordable groceries, gas, and basic goods
- Rent control and affordable housing
- Make the banks and corporations pay their fair share
Angela Preocanin, First Vice-President of the Ontario Nurses’ Association; Myles Sullivan, District 6 Director of the United Steelworkers; and Alejandra Ruiz Vargas, a Toronto member of ACORN, joined Coates to share the message that Ontarians are fed up and deserve solutions that help working people, instead of making their lives more difficult.
Preocanin and Vargas both spoke to the overlapping housing and healthcare crises.
“We’ve all seen how devastating the housing crisis has been for so many low to moderate income families in Ontario. The cost of living continues to rise, people have to choose between paying rent or putting food on the table. Tenants are under attack with Doug Ford’s government,” said Vargas.
Preocanin added: “Nurses are saying: Enough is enough! We are united in the fight against critical underfunding of our healthcare system, and real wage cuts at the hands of the Ford government. As ONA members fight for a better hospital contract, we stand shoulder to shoulder with all labour partners and allies. We will fight for you, demanding real wage increases and strong public services for all Ontarians.”
Sullivan and Coates highlighted that workers are ready to take action to demand better.
“Working people are ready to fight for a better Ontario where our communities are thriving because living wages is a norm, people have access to benefits, health and safety in the workplace is taken seriously, and it is easy to join a union,” said Sullivan.
Coates added: “Working for workers means improving the lives of working people. It does not mean making things harder for everyday Ontarians, while developers and donors reap massive rewards. We’re fed up – and we’re not going to take it anymore. Enough is enough.”
For more information on the Enough Is Enough campaign, visit WeSayEnough.ca.
For more information, please contact:
Director of Communications
Ontario Federation of Labour
firstname.lastname@example.org l 416-894-3456