LET'S GET NIAGARA WORKING AGAIN
Op-Ed By: Malcolm Allen, M.P. Welland
There’s no denying that Canadians currently face an employment crisis. Here in Niagara, we know this all too well.
Last month alone, 2,800 jobs were lost across the country and nearly 38,000 Ontarians gave up looking for work altogether. A recent report from TD Economics has called the recovery "non-existent" for young people, who face an unemployment rate of 14.7 per cent.
But instead of taking immediate action to create jobs, the Harper Conservatives continue to set aside billions in corporate handouts for their well-connected friends. Economists are already warning us that the deep service cuts required to pay for these giveaways could needlessly tip us back into recession.
We've seen the negative impact of these reckless policies before here in Niagara: middle-class jobs get shipped out the door, and instead of investing in Canada, profitable corporations are more than happy to pocket their government windfall. According to Statistics Canada, in the first quarter of 2011, non-financial corporations were holding a record $471 billion in cash—that's almost enough to pay off the entire national debt.
Rather than wishful thinking, we need an employment strategy in this region that's grounded in the needs of the 21st century economy. That’s why I and New Democrats are putting forward a practical and affordable plan to kick-start job creation.
We would offer targeted tax credits for every new hire, encourage small business development, and invest in critical job-creating infrastructure. We’ve also introduced a motion in Parliament to strengthen the Investment Canada Act to protect our industries from being mothballed and our jobs from being outsourced.
In too many communities across the country, including our very own, once-bustling workplaces now sit empty. Canadians aren’t looking for more of the same failed policies— they want real action to help their families. New Democrat MPs are putting forward concrete solutions to get our economy moving forward. Our team is united, we know what we believe, and we're ready to take the Harper Conservatives to task every single day.