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Posted August 11 , 2010
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Labour Statement

LABOUR COUNCIL CALLS ON HARPER TO CREATE JOBS, NOT JAILS

Toronto - The release of Statistics Canada’s monthly report on employment numbers, shows the Harper government is once again failing to help Canadians survive the recession, says the Toronto & York Region Labour Council.

Statistics Canada’s July Labour Force Survey documents an increase in the national unemployment rate to 8.0%. The report also reveals a massive shedding of 139,000 full-time jobs, which were largely replaced by part-time jobs.

“Harper is spending $9 billion on war planes and another $9 billion on prisons, even though crime has been dropping for years,” says president of the Toronto & York Region Labour Council, John Cartwright. “We need jobs, not jails. We need employment insurance that helps all Canadians, not some fighter jets.”

The current EI system provides only half the coverage for Torontonians than it did in Canada’s last recession - because fewer workers quality and benefit weeks have been reduced. Thousands of unemployed workers have exhausted their EI claims but the government refuses to make these numbers public.

“We all deserve good full time jobs that provide a decent income, benefits and stability,” says John Cartwright. “Today’s report shows that many more of us are now struggling to raise our families and pay the bills on part-time precarious jobs, which often pay less and provide less job security. It’s shameful.”

The labour council is demanding the Harper government provide an additional year of special extension EI benefits to respond to the ongoing jobless recovery.

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