date: February 6, 2009 - 4:00pm body:
NDP Leader Howard Hampton denounced Dalton McGuinty’s failure to address the jobs crisis after Statistics Canada's released its latest Labour Force Survey showing the province lost 71,000 jobs in January.
“For the Premier to suggest that instead of stopping the hemorrhaging of jobs more people should go on welfare, is a complete absence of leadership and an admission of his failure to respond to the jobs crisis. We shouldn’t be getting more people on welfare, we should be getting people back to work,” said Hampton.
Statistics Canada reported today that in January, Ontario lost 71,000 jobs, with Ontario accounting for more than half of Canada’s job losses. Manufacturing was the worst hit, with 36,000 jobs lost in the sector. Ontario’s unemployment rate rose to 8%, the worse since 1997.
“Workers and their families are worried, said Hampton. “Now is the time they need government the most, to quickly implement a jobs strategy to relieve some of the pain many are feeling.”
In December, New Democrats proposed a bold, aggressive, fiscal stimulus package to prevent continued job losses:
· Aid to the auto sector – tied to job and product guarantees – to make sure Ontario keeps good auto jobs
· Accelerating transit, housing, and other infrastructure projects, including a MUCH sector energy retrofit program, translating into 11,000 new jobs.
· Expanding a “Buy Ontario” program to ensure that transit, municipal infrastructure, MUSH sector procurement, and green energy are built in Ontario, sustaining value-added manufacturing jobs.
· Implementing an industrial hydro rate and a refundable manufacturing investment tax credit to reward job creation and sustain jobs in at-risk sectors like forestry
· An immediate increase the minimum wage to put money in the hands of those who will spend it.
“Today’s devastating numbers suggest that McGuinty’s 5-point plan is a 5-point failure. This is McGuinty’s admission of failure and the people of Ontario are going to pay the price for it,” said Hampton.
McGuilty's Liberals were fresh out of ideas in 2003.