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Media Advisory: Sault Ste. Marie Town Hall Exposes Local Impact of Government Cuts to Services and Democratic Rights

SAULT STE. MARIE, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 01/23/13 -- Outraged at the McGuinty governments' deep cuts to social programs and the recent attack on the democratic rights of education workers, Sault community members will be gathering on Wednesday, January 23 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 pressure local members of parliament.

The meeting will address local concern over the fact that unemployment in Northern Ontario is over 14 percent - the highest of any region in Ontario. With so many desperate for work, it is no wonder that approximately 10 percent of Sault Region residents are living on incomes below the low income cutoff (LICO) and Ontario Works cases continue to increase. 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 Nancy Hutchison, Secretary-Treasurer of the Ontario Federation of Labour. "Struggling families here in Sault Ste. Marie and throughout Ontario's North are right to demand fairness and equity from the Ontario's Liberal 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: Sault Ste. Marie Community Town Hall Meeting on Economic & Democratic Rights

WHEN: Wednesday, January 23 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm

WHERE: Grand Gardens, 68 Dennis Street, Sault Ste. Marie

"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 Ottawa to Sault Ste. Marie," said Hutchison. "It is time for the people to start setting the agenda."

The Sault Ste. Marie town hall is one in a series of regional meetings taking place across Ontario in the lead-up to a protest at 1:00 pm on January 26, outside the Ontario Liberal Leadership. Over 100 buses will travel to Toronto from every corner of the province, including the Sault. Community and labour groups have banded together to call on the government to recall the legislature, protect workers' rights 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. Visit www.OFL.ca and follow the OFL on Facebook and Twitter: @OFLabour and SidRyan_OFL.

www.OFL.ca

www.Twitter.com/OFLabour

www.Facebook.com/OFLabour

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