The Fairness Express bus will be touring Saskatchewan starting on September 15 until October 11. When the Fairness Express pulls into Humboldt, Saskatchewan it will have traveled 22, 621 kms across Canada. From its beginnings in Atlantic Canada, through to Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia, the big green bus has reached out to Canadians in hundreds of communities along the way.
“Our members are very excited to be on the ground having conversations about what tax fairness really means to the working people of this province,” said SGEU President Bob Bymoen. “Working families rely on quality public services to maintain a high standard of living, which isn’t possible when the wealthiest in society aren’t paying their fair share.”
Goal is to reach as many people as possible to build a movement for fairness
The national tour is part of the All Together Now! campaign promoting tax fairness, public services, good jobs and labour rights. The tour is a way to connect with people across the country, where they live and work, to find out how they are coping with the economy of the post-2008 recession.
"The stories we have heard from the beginning of this tour have had a familiar ring," said James Clancy, National President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE). "People are doing their best to get by, but they feel like they are falling behind. They are working harder, spending less but not getting ahead. Meanwhile, they keep hearing about the massive profits of corporations that only pay their workers minimum wage. They see the tax breaks the government hands out to profitable companies. They hear about the wealthy hiding their money in offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes."
"It's income inequality playing itself out right before their eyes. But many are struggling to find the best way to fix it," says Clancy. "This is where our campaign and the Fairness Express has been so helpful. It symbolizes the road to Fairness, the path to turn our country around so that people can do more than just "get by." People are generally optimistic, and the campaign allows them to plug in to a positive, hopeful and optimistic message. By working together, we can improve our lives and make life fairer for everyone."
Saskatchewan has seen its fair share of inequality
For a province that relies heavily on our natural resources to power its economy, Saskatchewan has seen its fair share of inequality. People have seen the good times but there can be a downside to relying so heavily on extracting resources to ship them off elsewhere.
"Creating good jobs that will stay in the community and help families is key to a strong economy," continues Clancy. "Companies that are making major profits off our resources need to be contributing their fair share, not finding ways to avoid paying taxes. When taxes aren't paid, public services are underfunded. When we all pay our fair share, the economy thrives and our communities grow."
Our members in Saskatchewan know this all too well. They are on the front lines of public services, ensuring people in communities across Saskatchewan receive the care and services they need.
Follow the Fairness Express through Saskatchewan
The official first day of the Fairness Express will be in Humboldt, Saskatchewan on September 15 at the Human Rights and Equity Conference sponsored by the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU/NUPGE). The SGEU/NUPGE team of Fairness Express Engagers will be traveling with the bus meeting people in communities across the province.
Here are the tentative stops for the first two weeks of the tour:
September 15: Humboldt (SGEU Human Rights and Equity Conference)
September 17: Weyburn/Estevan
September 18: Assiniboia
September 19: Swift Current
September 20-21: Maple Creek (Tradeshow)
September 22: Regina (U of R)
September 23: Moose Jaw
September 24: Lloydminster (Jazz at the Root Festival)
September 25: North Battleford (Farmers’ Market)
September 26: Meadow Lake (Bingo)
October 3 & 4: Nipawin
October 9: Saskatoon (Canadian Indian Finals Rodeo)
October 10: Wapella (Dodge City Days Rodeo)
If you can't make it to one of the tour stops, be sure to visit our online calendar and bus blog. You'll find updates from the road, photos, videos and stories from what the Fairness Express Engagers and Champions 4 Change are seeing, what they are hearing, and who is joining us in this movement.
We will be constantly updating the page to let people know where the bus will be, so FOLLOW THE BUS! You can also follow the tour on social media by following @ATNcampaign or searching for #FairnessExpress on Twitter to find out what is going on. Or check out our regular updates on Facebook.com/ATNcampaign. (Be sure to like us, too!)
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. NUPGE's mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good.
The Saskatchewan Government and General Employees` Union (SGEU) represents nearly 20,000 members working in crown corporations, educational institutions, health regions, retail and regulatory industries, community service agencies and public service/government ministries in Saskatchewan. SGEU has been working for over a century to protect the rights of all working people in the province.