Fall economic statement: Canada’s unions welcome new investments

November 3, 2022

Bruske: We are happy to finally see this government move toward a more sustainable future.

OTTAWA –– Canada’s unions applaud the announced investment in workers, sustainable jobs and training that will help equip workers with the skills they need to meet the challenges of Canada’s economic future.

“Canada’s unions have long advocated for federal guidance and investment in the training workers need to meet the demands of a sustainable energy future,” said Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress. “Investments in sustainable jobs and training are vital to ensure Canada meets is climate goals, while realizing the economic opportunities of the sustainable energy economy.”

The $250 million investment in the Sustainable Jobs Training Centre, including the Union Training and Innovation Program will go a long way to transitioning workers to good-quality, low carbon jobs. It is unfortunate the government included private, for-profit training institutions, and employer-specific micro-credentials that won’t benefit workers long-term.

Canada’s unions also welcome additional income supports, while continuing to call for a much wider reform of the Employment Insurance (EI) system.

“Although new measures to support workers are welcome, the government missed an opportunity to fix Canada’s outdated EI program,” said Bruske. “The funds announced today will barely help workers most affected by the current affordability crisis and most prone to work loss. What we need is an EI system for the 21st century.”

The Statement missed an opportunity to make clear the government will be there for the people who will be hurt in the coming recession. Repairing our tattered social safety net will ensure it is there for people when they need it.

Investments in health care, child care, long-term care and pharmacare would not only help reduce the costs workers and their families are facing face but alleviate some of the impacts of inflation, added Bruske. “Canadians expect leadership from this government with meaningful investments that help reduce their everyday costs.”

Also missing in the Statement was any movement on corporate taxation.

“Corporate profits are at an all-time high and inflation is rising faster than what we’ve seen in four decades,” said Bruske. “While European states are moving ahead with taxing excess profits, and the US President is talking about doing the same for oil and gas – Canada has not even explored the possibility. We need tax reform to ensure these big businesses are paying their fair share.”

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