About the All Together Now! campaign

Imagine a Canada that we can all feel good about. A Canada that's prosperous and fair and leading the world towards healthier environments, healthier economies, and more widespread equality. We've felt good about ourselves before, but for the past generation it's just felt like we're caught in a rut:

  • We're working longer or going longer without work.

  • We're working more part-time and contract jobs and we're working farther from home.

  • We're going longer between raises, leaning on our credit cards to pay rising utility rates, tuitions and housing costs.

  • We're watching our infrastructure crumbles, our public services fade, and our pensions evaporate

  • We're feeling powerless as our governments bow again and again to corporate demands for tax breaks, loosened environmental and safety regulations, and carte-blanche to sell our raw natural resources overseas and hire exploitable migrant workers to do what work is left here

All the while, a tiny percentage of Canadians—the richest Canadians—are basking in yet another long stretch of prosperity. It just doesn't seem to make sense and it's left a lot of us scratching our heads: how did we ever wind up here?

We've gone down the road of dangerously high income inequality

This is where you end up when income inequality grows too high. As a pair of British health researchers named Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson show in their book The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone, there is ample evidence that high income inequality makes us sicker, angrier, less educated, and less safe.

They're not the only ones ringing the alarm bells. U.S. President Barack Obama calls rising income inequality “the defining issue of our time.” Pope Francis says “Today, we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills.” Warren Buffett says “Through the tax code, there has been class warfare waged. It’s been a rout.”

All Together Now! It’s Time To Change Direction

But this battle is far from over. High income inequality is not inevitable—it does not rain down naturally from the clouds of capitalism. Inequality rises when we let it rise by supporting politicians who promise that when the rich are allowed to prosper, their prosperity will “trickle down” to the rest of us. Reagan, Thatcher, and Mulroney pioneered this “trickle down” approach, and most politicians since have followed their lead, passing laws that:

  • Reduce taxes on corporations and high incomes

  • Cut and privatize public services

  • Restrict labour and other human rights

  • Surrender good jobs to "market forces"

Canadians have endured laws like these for more than 30 years. Income inequality has now reached levels we haven’t seen since just before The Great Depression. Clearly, we have to change direction. The good news: we can. We just need to start talking about the kind of Canada we want. All Together Now, we have to tell our politicians we want laws that ensure:

  • Tax Fairness

  • Quality Public Services

  • Labour and other Human Rights

  • Good Jobs

This is a Marathon, Not A Sprint

It's not easy to change a country's direction, but it's not impossible. For the past five years, the All Together Now! campaign has been rallying people behind the idea that we can do better.

It is a campaign coordinated by the National Union of Public and General Employees (www.nupge.ca). Our 360,000 members are suffering the effects of income inequality just like the rest of us; as workers in hospitals, schools, shelters, and jail, they have front-row seats to just how widespread the suffering has become.

And so many of our members have signed up as "Champions for Change" and have committed to talking to as many people as possible about the ravages of rising income inequality and the things we can do to reverse and heal the damage it's been doing.