TORONTO, March 22 /CNW/ - Thursday's Ontario budget completely fails to
address the jobs crisis in the province's manufacturing and forest sectors,
says United Steelworkers' (USW) Ontario/Atlantic Director Wayne Fraser.
Fraser noted that more than 100,000 good-paying jobs have been lost since
the McGuinty government was elected in 2003, but the Liberal pre-election
budget's only new initiative in the sector is to create an Ontario
Manufacturing Council to "provide regular updates" to the Minister of Economic
"This is insulting window dressing," Fraser said. "Workers are demanding
immediate action to save and protect Ontario jobs. Northern communities are
literally dying and becoming ghost towns. Dalton McGuinty and his
Toronto-based finance minister just doesn't get it."
Fraser had made a detailed presentation to Ontario's pre-budget
consultations in January, calling for a co-ordinated approach to make
manufacturing a good-news story in Ontario again, including stable electricity
prices, a jobs protection commissioner, a suite of sector strategies and
special measures for the forest industry.
"The Liberal budget took no action in any of these areas. Even where the
government took positive steps, such as raising the minimum wage and
addressing the child benefit supplement clawback, a slow phase-in schedule
means hundreds of thousands of children and low-wage workers will be left in
poverty for years to come.
"As a pre-election package, this is a disgrace."
For further information:
For further information: Wayne Fraser, (416) 243-8792, (416) 577-4045