The 2015 election is an opportunity to set a different course for our country. When you go to the polls this year, bear in mind the Conservative government’s record on the public services Canadians depend on.
Fewer than 1 in 4 Canadian kids has access to regulated child care. The Conservatives abolished the federal-provincial-territorial funding agreements on childcare, cutting $1 billion out of childcare in Canada. Instead of making childcare affordable, the government introduced cash payments directly to parents, which represent only a small fraction of monthly childcare costs.
The Conservative government cut 26,000 jobs in the public service with plans to cut 9,000 more, putting families and local economies in jeopardy. These job cuts mean that 35,000 full-time jobs will have been permanently eliminated from the economy. The cuts have directly hurt front line public services.
Legislative changes to EI are hurting workers and economies in many communities in Canada. Fewer than 40% of laid off workers are now covered by EI, the lowest in 40 years.
The government is planning legislation on target benefit pension plans that will erode pension benefits for workers and undermine existing pension plans, including those of our members. It also increased the age of eligibility for Old Age Security from 65 to 67 — a direct hit on the retirement security of the next generation of Canadians.
Because of federal cutbacks – estimated at $36 billion over the next decade and changes to the funding formula, our health care systems will soon face serious spending cuts and will not be sustainable.
The Conservative government has been steadily reversing gains on women’s rights, including gutting pay equity for federal employees. The Conservatives have also cut funding to programs that support Aboriginal peoples, people with disabilities, immigrants and refugees and to civil society groups that are critical of the government.
Over the last decade, Canada has gone from having a good record on environmental protection, to one of the worst among industrialized countries. Environmental laws and standards have been gutted, and the government abandoned its Kyoto Accord commitment to reduce greenhouse gases.
This government closed nine Veterans Affairs offices and cut hundreds of front line workers who provide services to veterans. As a result, many veterans are not getting access to the services they need.