TORONTO – The global recession hit Ontario harder than most provinces, making the need for job creation – not deficit reduction -- a top priority in this week’s provincial budget, says a new report by the Canadian Centre for Policy
Alternatives (CCPA). Steering Ontario Out of Recession, by CCPA Research Associate Hugh Mackenzie, says Ontario lost 201,000 permanent jobs last year
while only 15,000 new part-time jobs and 20,500 temporary jobs were created to offset those losses.
Compared to the rest of Canada, Mackenzie says Ontario has been hit hard, accounting for 59% of the nation’s permanent job losses last year, including manufacturing job losses that aren’t likely to bounce back.
“Bad jobs are replacing good jobs, which will hamper Ontario’s economic recovery efforts unless the provincial government steps up with a good job creation strategy,” says Mackenzie.
“Meanwhile, Employment Insurance (EI) rolls are still bulging with 251,000 unemployed Ontarians. Many are poised to run out of benefits and are facing bleak job propects. Canada may be pulling into recovery but Ontario is not yet out of the recessionary woods.”
Among the report’s conclusions:
- Deficit hysteria is unwarranted: Ontario’s deficit will resolve itself once the provincial economy bounces back to its trend line;
- No need for public service cuts: Cutting public sector spending would counteract this year’s stimulus efforts and could push Ontario’s shaky recovery back into recession;
- Asset sales are unwise: The government stands to lose more than it gains by selling off crown assets that are vital to long-term strategic efforts such as greening Ontario or that are important revenue generators such as the LCBO;
- Job creation is job one: The province needs to keep the stimulus dollars flowing and support full-time job creation in Ontario’s private sector, including incentives to create new green jobs and revive manufacturing;
- Ontarians need support: The government should support the unemployed by filling the gaps in the federal EI program and investing in more job training. To help parents’ work efforts and support early learning, it should maintain the $63.5 million needed to keep Ontario’s subsidized child care sector from collapsing. And it needs to invest in bolder poverty reduction strategies or risk missing its target of reducing child poverty by 25% by 2013.
For more information contact: Trish Hennessy 416-525-4927.