Like much of Ontario’s voters, Local 1006A members are not impressed by premier Doug Ford’s massive cuts.
“Doug Ford’s cuts are not for the people,” said Robichaud. “He’s taking away supports for people who need it the most, making changes that seem to only benefit people with money, and he’s not taking climate change seriously. He’s wasting tax dollars on license plates, updating the Trillium symbol, and gas station stickers about the carbon tax. I feel these actions are going to set Ontario back instead of moving us forward as a province.”
Robichaud said it is important to get out and let Ford know how workers are feeling by signing petitions and supporting rallies that are taking place against his changes.
“The best thing we could do is get out next election and vote against Doug Ford.”
Valrie Francis, a member of 1006A Young Workers Network, said the cuts will squeeze workers and their families more at a time when cost of housing, education and childcare are high.
“Young adults, middle and lower-class families will be most impacted,” said Francis. The cuts to OSAP and the elimination of the 6 month grace period for OSAP loan payment will make it even harder, she said. “The next generation may not have the experience of a well-structured education system nor have the opportunities of receiving grants and scholarships, which will make it difficult for many.”
Francis said members still have the ability to create change.
“Having an open dialogue is a great way to create awareness,” she said. “Attend meetings within your community, contact your MPP, participate in a protest, take a few minutes of your time to speak to individuals that are canvassing, and use your social media to share and post pictures or videos. We must be the change and that entails being united, supporting each other and being present.”
Adam Nott, 1006A member, is among the activists who uses social media to take action.
“Doug Ford’s cuts are going to impact my family a great deal,” he said “My brother suffers from a mental illness and currently receives help from our government, but now with the new cuts being implemented, some of my brother’s help and assistance is going to be removed.”
The wide range of the cuts will jeopardize the livelihoods of Ontario families, he said, and he is hoping to raise awareness through social media.
“I think the biggest thing in this day in age is taking some of these concerns to social media,” he said. “We may be able to create change the more people know about these issues. These Ford cuts need to go viral.”
1006A member Nancy Prout is worried about the changes that are coming.
“Our healthcare system will be negatively impacted,” she said. “Education cuts will have a drastic impact on our students and their future.”
Prout said the cut in funding for specialized school programs has impacted opportunities for her granddaughters. She said health and safety will also be comprised through cutbacks.
“These cuts will hurt our workers as fewer funds go to work safety education and aid in accessing workers’ compensation,” she said. “The Ford government is not concerned about middle-class workers and their families. His main agenda is to increase the wealth of the big-business conglomerates.”