Friday, February 6, 2009

Harper’s hokey stimulus plan will create fewer jobs (189,000) than have been lost in the last three months (213,000)

Job loss figures show Tory stimulus plan inadequate: Liberals

February 6, 2009
CBC News

The Opposition Liberals ridiculed the Conservative government's job creation estimates included in its massive economic stimulus package, as employment figures released Friday showed Canada shed 129,000 jobs in January alone.

With the economy staggering in recession, Canada's unemployment rate shot up by 0.6 percentage points in January to 7.2 per cent, Statistics Canada said. Almost all of the job losses were in full-time work.

Last month's job losses represented the "the largest monthly decline in recorded history" and showed Stephen Harper's Conservatives have been overselling what the stimulus package can do, Liberal finance critic John McCallum said Friday.

During question period in the House of Commons, McCallum said the stimulus package job creation estimates are a "failure," considering the battered Canadian economy has lost 213,000 jobs since October.

"How can the minister explain to Canadians that the budget will save fewer jobs than the country has already lost in three short months?" McCallum told the House.

Speaking for the government, Ted Menzies, parliamentary secretary to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, recognized the seriousness of the unemployment figures and implored all MPs to work together to ensure the budget's full passage so that help can start reaching Canadians in need.

Menzies added that as early as the end of 2007, the prime minister "was clear to Canadians that we were going to be facing some difficult economic times."

"Yes, it is a serious problem, and let's be serious," Menzies told the House. "I would urge all honourable members to quit bickering and get on with what matters to Canadians."

New Democrat MP Libby Davies lambasted the government for failing to eliminate the two-week waiting period and increase accessibility of employment insurance.

"We don't need to wait to see if things get worse," Davies told the House. "They are worse right now."
Flaherty 'open' to more spending

The Liberals are calling for the immediate release of more federal economic stimulus funds on top of the $40 billion over two years pledged in the recently tabled federal budget.

While he said his party still did the right thing in voting for the Conservative budget because it contains many helpful measures, McCallum added "there's still time" to bring in additional stimulus before the summer break if necessary.

On Thursday, Flaherty said Canadians should brace for "significant" and "very regrettable" job losses, while the finance minister is "open to the possibility of doing more" on top of the stimulus spending in his budget.

"But the first job is to get the budget passed and implement the stimulus," he said.

The budget projects $64 billion in deficits over the next two years, although several observers have said the numbers are based on assumptions that appear to be too optimistic.

Parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page, for one, has cast doubt on the size and effectiveness of the minister's stimulus package.

According to Statistics Canada's figures released Friday, the manufacturing sector lost 101,000 jobs during January, the most on record for the industry.

The bulk of January's losses in manufacturing were concentrated in Ontario, which lost 36,000 positions; Quebec, which lost 30,000; and British Columbia, which shed 18,000 manufacturing positions.
With files from the Canadian Press


Anonymous said...

2 week waiting period for EI ... HA! HA! HA! They will provide you with your number confirming you have applied within 2 weeks. Don't expect to hear back from them in the form of a cheque you are probably legally entitled to. We are still waiting to hear back from them for a claim filed November 08. Fortunately for us - somehow our Trust Unit dividends are still paying and carrying us through, despite the fact that our shares are almost worthless.

Hmm if MPs are actually concerned about unemployment - they should voluntarily return part of their paycheques for the time Harper and the Haitian lady suspended Parliament. They chose not to do any work for several weeks so their paycheques should reflect that just like any other Canadian.

Dr Mike said...

"Menzies added that as early as the end of 2007, the prime minister "was clear to Canadians that we were going to be facing some difficult economic times."

OMG , this is news to me.

I might be wrong , but seems to me that it was a mere 3 months ago that Harper told us that a recession would probably not occur.

It was just 2 months ago that Flaherty said there would be surpluses as far as the eye could see.

It was just a few weeks ago when the Con stooge Carney was telling us that the worst would be over by July .

As far as I can tell , the only one that was right was Carney since by July everyone will be unemployed & there will be nowhere to go but up.

These guys are disgusting.

Dr Mike Popovich.