Premiers McGuinty And Charest: Federal Action Needed Now



    Ontario And Québec Demand That Ottawa Act As A True Partner In Supporting
    Their Manufacturing And Forestry Sectors

    VANCOUVER, Jan. 28 /CNW/ - In the context of Parliament resuming its work
tomorrow in Ottawa, of a federal budget in the coming weeks and of the Council
of the Federation meeting in Vancouver today, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty
and Quebec Premier Jean Charest are calling on the federal government to take
immediate action to help key industries and workers that face tough challenges
due to the high Canadian dollar, increasing global competition, high energy
prices and a weakening U.S. economy.
    "All of Canada benefits when Ontario and Quebec succeed in the global
economy," said Premier McGuinty. "The federal government can demonstrate its
commitment to Canada's economic competitiveness by partnering with us to
invest in the transformation of our manufacturing sectors."
    Ontario and Quebec account for 75 per cent of Canada's manufacturing
sector. Both provinces have developed comprehensive strategies and are
implementing programs to assist affected sectors. Both provinces have made
significant investments, totalling several billion dollars, to support the
transformation of their economies and to help existing and new industries
adapt to the changing economic realities.
    "We recognize that the decision of the federal government to set up a
Community Development Trust is a first step," said Premier Charest. "However,
the amount is not adequate and this federal payment should be introduced into
Parliament immediately and not be subject to the approval of a federal
budget."
    The premiers call on the federal government to take further action in the
upcoming federal budget by providing support for Canada's workers, communities
and enterprises in challenged sectors of the economy. The federal government
has a long history of targeting support to industries, sectors and Canadians
facing challenges. Both provinces urge the government of Canada to act in this
manner again.
    The federal government can use the mechanisms it has available to help
these sectors by:

    
    -   Supporting the plans of Quebec and Ontario to assist companies invest
        in their transition to new economic opportunities, including low
        carbon and green technologies, that will create the jobs of the
        future

    -   Targeting federal funding for innovation and R&D in areas that align
        with provincial program priorities

    -   Modernizing the EI program so that laid-off workers in challenged
        sectors have access to more resources

    -   Implementing a new income support program to provide long-tenure,
        permanently laid-off workers in challenged sectors with the support
        they need while they search or train for new jobs
    

    Premiers McGuinty and Charest said the entire country benefits from the
strength of a vibrant manufacturing sector and that Canada's economy can only
be negatively affected when its industrial heartland is weakened.
    They remain committed to working collaboratively with their provincial
and territorial colleagues along with the federal government, to strengthen
the Canadian economy and ensure its long-term development and vitality.

    Disponible en français





For further information:

For further information: Media Officer, Premier of Quebec's Office,
(418) 643-5321, www.premier-ministre.gouv.qc.ca; Premier of Ontario's Media
Office, (416) 314-8975, www.ontario.ca/premier

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