I am celebrating International Workers’ Day by marching alongside thousands of Canadians today to protest austerity measures implemented by Stephen Harper’s government – measures that have given rise to growing social inequality.
Since coming to power, the Conservatives have been relentless in targeting workers: they have tabled anti-union bills, gutted employment insurance, pushed back the age of retirement, categorically opposed improving public pension plans, and much more.
The Conservative government is trying to convince us that workers needs to sacrifice even further. Because of their policies, we have had to learn to settle for less: less protections, less jobs, less public services. Less, less, less – that seems to be their mantra.
By axing social programs, the Conservatives have been widening the gap between the rich and poor. According to a report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the wealth of Canada’s 86 richest people, or 0.002% of the population, is now equal to that of the nation’s poorest 11.4 million citizens.
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NDP Labour critic