March 24 2006 - Some comments about the implications of yesterday's
budget on employment issues in Ontario:
Wayne Samuelson, Ontario Federation of Labour: "The Liberal budget document actually admits that their energy policies
have caused the loss of countless manufacturing jobs in Ontario. This is the
biggest loss of manufacturing jobs since the 1990's. This budget document has
no strategy, no plan or any indication that the government intends to take any
kind of an active role in dealing with the crisis of the countless loss of
jobs and livelihoods here in this province. We know the government has the
money. Why aren't they using it to handle this job loss crisis?"
Wayne Fraser, Ontario Director, United Steelworkers: "Government coffers are overflowing because of record corporate profits,
but Premier Dalton McGuinty is missing in action when it comes to helping our
crucial manufacturing and forest products industries." Fraser highlighted the loss of
80,000 manufacturing jobs in the province during 2005 and called on the Ontario government to move urgently to lower
power rates, improve protections for wages and pensions, invest more in
training and labour adjustment and take steps to avert closures of mills and
Len Crispino, Ontario Chamber of Commerce: "Overall, I think the budget does send the right signal in terms of the
business community, predominantly because of the acceleration of the
elimination of the capital tax. Also, the heavy investment in terms of
post-secondary and apprenticeship training - the future workforce of the
Dr. Greg Flynn, Ontario Medical Association: "The government has taken several steps in recent years to improve the
number of doctors being trained in Ontario. These steps will be complemented
by a that identifies our short and long-term
needs and focuses on retaining those physicians who are nearing retirement
Patrick Dillon, Building & Construction Trades Council of Ontario:
"This increase in infrastructure spending will not only make Ontario more
competitive, it will also create many needed jobs in the construction
industry. Many more opportunities will be available for Ontario youth to get
involved in the skilled trades through apprenticeship programs."
Janet Ecker, Executive Director, Toronto Financial Services Alliance (TFSA)
welcomed measures to reduce the capital tax on large corporations by five per
cent in 2007. "We are pleased that the government recognizes the need to accelerate the
elimination of the tax, which, in the budget's own words, is a barrier to
attracting new investment and fostering economic growth," said Ms. Ecker. "We
would have preferred to see the tax eliminated altogether, but the potential
that it will be phased out two years ahead of schedule is an improvement."
The TFSA also said it was encouraged by the government's recognition of
the sector's contribution to a strong economy and job growth in the province.
"As the budget notes, we are the third largest financial centre on the
continent, and we have created more jobs than the financial sector of any
other North American city in the past 10 years," said Ms. Ecker.
"These are high-value jobs. Workers in financial services earn 26% more
than the all-industry average and 72% of financial services employees in the
city have post-secondary designations, compared to 58% for other industries.
Inasmuch as most of the government's revenue growth comes from job growth, the
financial services sector is an important contributor," she added.