Thursday, 14 June 2012

Olivia Chow's Budget Speech

The Conservatives are pushing their Trojan Horse budget bill through Parliament in a reckless manner. But worse than mocking our democracy is the devastating effect this bill will have on families, Olivia Chow points out in her speech.

Olivia on the Conservative Budget:

What does a job mean to the average Canadian? It means earning a salary where food can be placed on tables. It means the rent can be paid, it means the mortgage can be met on time.

It means that families can earn enough to provide subsistence to their children.

When a person loses a job, it can be devastating. For some people, a loss of self confidence, self esteem. A loss of friends, a community of working colleagues.

In the Conservative budget we are debating tonight, we are really talking about the lives of the 43,000 Canadians who will lose their jobs because of this budget.

43,000 Canadians, workers, who will no longer have money to contribute to the economy. They will suffer the humiliation of being laid off. Some will lose their houses, other will suffer depression. A few may not recover from being unemployed, or ever be able to find a job again.

Some lives will be destroyed.

43,000 Canadians are the causalities of this terrible budget.

43,000 is the number quoted by the parliamentary budget officer in his analysis of this budget. On April 26th, the parliamentary budget office confirmed that this budget will slow Canada’s economic recovery. He confirmed that when combined with prior cuts there will be a total of 103,000 jobs lost. About a third from this number are from the public sector, the rest from the private sector.

The PBO’s numbers point to the fact that this budget will create a significant drag on our economy.

We are talking about the lives of over one hundred thousand workers.

This budget will induce an overwhelming increase in unemployment doing little to create jobs

What are the implications of this budget?

It is a job cutting budget.

It is a job reduction budget.

It is a job loss budget.

In addition, the employment insurance clauses in this budget will make matters worse.

The poor soul who lost his job will get a few e-mails a day, in fields that are not related to his experience, for job offers that are nowhere near his community. To add on to the stress of not being guaranteed a job, the job that he may have previously been doing could easily be offered to one of the 200,000 temporary workers coming into this country every year.

These temporary workers will be paid 15 percent less than the community rate. So instead of 10 dollars an hour, the temporary worker will get paid 8.5, depressing the wages for everyone else.

This budget also repeals the Fair wages and Hours of Labour act, which will allow employers to undercut good wages for construction workers engaged in projects funded by the federal government. An act created in the 1930s to set minimum standards for wages and hours of labour. That is now gone.

There are 1. 4 million Canadians out of work. The number is much worse for young people. At this time, on this day, thousands of young Canadians are looking in vain for summer jobs, for any jobs, but there aren’t just enough jobs out there.

The jobless rate for young Canadians are at a high of 14 percent. This means that one or two out of every ten individuals looking for a job will not be able to find one.

Then there are those who have given up hope of finding a job.

If you are a woman, who may have raised a family and wanting to come back to the employment market, good luck. Or if you are a new immigrant trying to find your first job in Canada in your own field. Good luck. Or you have a slight disability, you are going to have a tough time in today’s poor labour market.

The result to this budget that has just amended the employment equity act so that it will no longer apply to federal contractors, is a direct attack on the four designated groups in Canada that includes Aboriginal peoples, women, visible minorities and persons with disabilities.

We know that the 100,000 Canadians who will lose their jobs are the losers of this budget. This means that there are 1.4 million of unemployed workers who will continued to struggle looking for a job.

Who then are the winners of this budget?

Certainly the CEO of all the oil and gas companies are big winners.

Like the CEO of Suncor, Richard George, who earned $9.1 million last year, on top of his $ 3 million of bonuses and shares of his company.

And when he retires, he gets… wait for it, how many millions for his pension?! $26.6 million.
So average seniors who have to wait two more years for their pension, losing thousands of their tax dollars when they need them the most, but not the top 1 percent. The top CEOs salary when up 6 percent in 2011, and 13 percent in 2010. An average of over $5 million increase in salary alone.

They will earn even more because this budget gives them even more – more profit and shares as they don’t have to worry about the environmental degradation they inflict.

These multinational companies don’t even have to do any environmental assessments. They don’t have to go to the national energy board and submit reports and facts and data, because the conservative cabinet will just give them card blanche to develop as much as they want.

In fact one third of this so called budget bill is dedicated to environmental deregulation. It repeals the Environmental Assessment Act, it gives minister discretion over major pipelines. It will certainly help the Enbridge CEO Patrick Daniels who racked up $8 million last year.

The environmental degradation caused by this budget is going to be so bad, that the government doesn’t even want the public to find out. That’s why the Environment Round Table is eliminated. That’s why the Kyoto Implementation Act is repealed so Canada is no longer required to report on its emission.

With all that has been said, the Budget Bill C-38 is a bad bill all around. It is a bill that will kill jobs, ruin the environment, punish the unemployed and senior citizens while all mean while making those who are rich even richer.

No comments: