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Federal Budget 2016

Budget Success Not Guaranteed Without Industrial Strategy - Steelworkers

Ottawa - The success or failure of the federal budget depends on whether proposed spending is aimed at rebuilding Canadian manufacturing and preserving Canadian control over our economy, says Ken Neumann, National Director of the United Steelworkers (USW).

"The Conservative government, through ill-conceived trade agreements and secret deals with foreign corporations, caused hundreds of thousands of lost jobs and silenced production in sectors that were once the pride of Canadian industry," said Neumann.

"Certainly, smart deficit spending on infrastructure will result in more job creation and lower unemployment, but the government must ensure that such infrastructure is built with Canadian-made products like steel, for example."

Neumann said the loss of jobs and steel production in Hamilton and the threat of bankruptcy at Essar Steel Algoma in Sault Ste. Marie should be priorities for the Liberal government.

The USW welcomes Employment Insurance reforms, the return of entitlement for Old Age Security to age 65, along with increases to the Guaranteed Income Supplement for single seniors, he said. But the future demands more stability for Canadians who still have jobs and for younger workers, he added.

"The Liberal government has said it will reverse the damage inflicted by a decade of Conservative rule," Neumann said.

"This budget appears to signal good intentions, but we continue to lose jobs in what were once considered critical industries. Meanwhile, the government is on the verge of ratifying the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement that will undermine our national autonomy and our manufacturing sector.

"Canada needs a national, focused industrial strategy, along with targeted spending that will create jobs over the long term in an economy that is built to last."

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