"Reducing environmental assessment period for pipeline construction just a way to fast-track building and profits for big oil companies."
OTTAWA, March 29, 2012 /CNW/ - "Today's federal budget moves us closer to a meaner, leaner, lesser country that will soon be unrecognizable," says Dave Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.
"It causes needless hardship for seniors who can least afford it, cuts public sector jobs that our struggling economy badly needs, and fast tracks good jobs out of Canada, while smoothing the way for multinationals to increase profits."
Coles says that reducing the environmental assessment period for pipeline construction is "nothing more than a way to fast-track building and profits for big oil companies, while shipping good jobs out of Canada. These pipelines pose serious threats to the environment and to the public interest, yet the government simply wants to speed up the rubber-stamp process."
He cites an Informetrica study that says 26,000 good, stable jobs could be created in Canada, if the raw bitumen that flows through those pipelines were processed here, before being sent to the United States or to Asia.
The CEP president also says that the delay in OAS payments forces working people to work longer and harder and likely forego any hope of a dignified retirement. He notes that "leading economists have done the math and found the net effect on the fiscal balance to be nil."
"The government needs to expand the Canada Pension Plan, support the protection of endangered pension plans and bring in long-needed amendments of our bankruptcy laws, to help pensioners and other workers who face major cuts to their retirement incomes because their employers took refuge in the bankruptcy courts.
"Shrinking public sector pensions and cutting 35,000 public sector jobs - more than have been created in the last six months -- will slow economic growth by draining purchasing power," says Coles.
"The Harper Government is taking our economy 100 miles an hour in the wrong direction."
CEP is the largest union is several key sectors of the economy including, forestry, energy, telecommunications and media.
For further information:
Dave Coles (613) 299-5628