January 10, 2008
People before politics, Prime Minister! - Georgetti calls for stand-alone legislation to address jobs crisis
OTTAWA – Today’s announcement from the Prime Minister about the creation of a new, billion-dollar “Community Development Trust Fund” is a major disappointment for workers who thought help was on its way.
“We finally have an admission from the federal government that there is a crisis. There are serious problems in communities across the country, our best-paying jobs are disappearing from our traditional resource and manufacturing industries. Yet, the government offers nothing but a promise that money will be there IF the next budget passes. This is putting politics ahead of people,” says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress.
“I call on the Prime Minister not to bury this in the next budget, give us a stand-alone bill and introduce it the first day Parliament returns. It will pass,” says Georgetti.
“This bill should also include a ‘Buy Canadian’ procurement policy the same as in the United States where everything governments buy must have American content.”
The federal government alone spends $55-billion on procurements. The amount for all levels of government is $325-billion.
Georgetti explains that Canada’s jobs crisis requires more than a single, short-term initiative. Over and above this “community trust fund” the Prime Minister and the Premiers must agree to join with leaders from labour and business to develop a national jobs plan for the future.
“Working families want a Made-in-Canada jobs strategy,” concludes Georgetti.
The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.2 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada’s national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 136 district labour councils. Web site: www.canadianlabour.ca