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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Your Harper government – Leading the race-to-the-bottom!

Reality check: Conservative hollow jobs rhetoric

During Question Period today, Prime Minister Stephen Harper claimed his government has created 450,000 new jobs.
A familiar refrain, but how does it stand up against the truth?
In reality, we are still over 300,000 jobs short of where we were before the recession. The number of unemployed Canadians was 1.119 million in September of 2008, while it currently stands at 1.426 million.
Last month, Statistics Canada reported the loss of another 11,500 full-time jobs. Conservative fiscal policy is replacing full-time work with benefits, with precarious and temporary work without benefits. These are not good, family supporting jobs – instead these are the kinds of jobs that leave families visiting the food bank at the end of the month.
Some quick facts:
  • Work is not an assured route out of poverty
    1 in 3 low-income children has a parent who works fulltime throughout the year and almost 400,000 adult full-time workers earn less than $10 per hour.
    (Source: Campaign 2000, 2010 Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Canada)
  • Food banks are a booming business
    Almost 1 million Canadians used a food bank in 2010. 17% of these people have income from current or recent employment.
    (Source: Food Banks Canada, Hunger Count 2010 )
  • Good manufacturing jobs are scarce
    Good paying manufacturing work continues to disappear. 29,000 lost jobs in November in this sector.
    (Source: Statistics Canada)
  • Your federal government – Leading the race-to-the-bottom
    The federal government itself skirts the law in its use of temporary workers for what should be permanent positions. They are paying $300 million per year in fees to temp agency middlemen instead of paying better wages and benefits to workers.
    (Ottawa Citizen, Sept. 21)
We are still way short of employment levels pre-recession. Replacing full-time jobs to create half-time precarious jobs without benefits is not job creation at all.
In fact, the type of jobs this government is creating condemns many Canadians to poverty and borrowing just to get by – leading to record household debt in Canada, now surpassing even U.S. levels.

Abbotsford NDP Candidate David Murray with Ed Broadbent at Halifax convention
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