Canada lost 400,000 manufacturing jobs and Tories pretend there’s no problem

By Nathan Cullen, NDP MP for Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

More than 1.3 million Canadians are out of work today. The government has added more than $150 billion in debt to the national debt. That is more than $4,000 for every man, woman, and child. We can ask what we got for it. According to the Governor of the Bank of Canada, who, like most bankers, is hardly one to use such strong language, called this Canadian economy and the circumstances we are in right now “atrocious”.

We would have thought that on the eve of an election, with an economy that continues to shed jobs, the government would have brought forward some sort of, dare I say, action plan. I am not talking about the action plan the Conservatives refer to in the $750 million in self-promoting ads they constantly shower Canadians with. I am talking about an actual action plan. I know that it is hard to imagine that the spin could actually match some reality, but that is what we were hoping for. Canadians, from all the polling the government has done, have grown increasingly cynical about its advertising scheme, because it has met so little with the reality.

Canadians are waiting for action, hoping for action, and demanding action. Let us see what they actually got from the government in the most recent omnibus bill. Again, the government has moved thousands of pages of omnibus legislation through the House. In all of that omnibus legislation, there was virtually not a single amendment or change.

What typically happens, and it is true with this bill, is that an omnibus bill goes in to fix the mistakes of the last omnibus bill, which was fixing the mistakes of the omnibus bill before that. If we look up “incompetence” in the dictionary, we will now see a picture of the Prime Minister, and under a subheading, all of his legislation.

Let us look at the Canadian economy right now. It is shedding jobs in retail, manufacturing, and the energy sector. As I said, more than 1.3 million Canadians today are out of work.

There was the fiasco of the temporary foreign worker program. The Conservative government created a loophole so big someone could drive a truck through it. It put more than 300,000 Canadians out of work and brought in temporary foreign workers, with absolutely no provisions to protect Canadian jobs or even the temporary foreign workers in the job conditions under which they were going to work.

The Canadian economy has lost more than 400,000 manufacturing jobs since the government took over. That is more than half a million manufacturing jobs since 2000. What is the reaction? What is the response? These are the jobs we built up over generations. We built the Canadian middle class on this. We built the strength of the Canadian economy on this. Meanwhile, these guys are fiddling while Rome burns. We have lost more than 400,000 manufacturing jobs, and the Conservatives pretend that there is no problem and that there is nothing to address.

We have also seen, according to the CIBC, that job quality in Canada is at its lowest level in a generation. It has never been this bad. The work has become more precarious, jobs are becoming more part-time, and there are fewer and fewer benefits, like pensions and true protections through the employment insurance program. That has been under the Conservative and previous Liberal governments’ watch, with no addressing of it. Canadians know this experience. Their jobs have become more precarious and less certain.

This is a strange contradiction for the Conservatives. They continually stand in this place and talk about families and family-supporting jobs, yet in their policies, they go about destroying the very jobs that support Canadians and Canadian families. That is the great contradiction of Conservative policy. On the one hand, we get the talking points that say how important it is to build Canada and Canadian communities and Canadian families and all that Leave It to Beaver talk. They would like to go back in time it seems sometimes. On the other hand, the very jobs that support our homes, our communities, and our families are the very jobs the Conservatives have watched disappear, without any hint of concern whatsoever.

[Excerpts of a speech given to the House of Commons on June 15, 2015]

18 Responses to Canada lost 400,000 manufacturing jobs and Tories pretend there’s no problem

  1. Deb says:

    People ought to start waking up. This whole planet is F’d up. CANADA needs to STAND STRONG! Harper doesn’t have a backbone. Originally liked him but lets face it he is not in control.

    • David says:

      Actually Harper is way out of control. [Removed].

    • Anonymous says:

      if are hydro is going up double by construction etc and you lost paper mill jobs and several saw mill that were good paying jobs how are we to dress are kids feed them and heat are house and pay are bills thanks i would like your answer a metis older worker30 plus years of working and paying taxes but lost half my pension because i was short a year to get my money share from the company but if a person was 55 with 20 years of service and gets double the money because of his age but i payed 10 more years into this pension this does not seem right to a concern person born in this country

  2. Deb says:

    People ought to start waking up. This whole planet is F’d up. CANADA needs to STAND STRONG! Harper doesn’t have a backbone. Originally liked him but lets face it he is not in control.

  3. Pal says:

    Your right Deb the whole planet is F’d up,I believe we’re screwed whichever way we vote,doesn’t seem to be a right way anymore.

    • LSC says:

      If you live in one of the close to 60 ridings across Canada where the Conservative candidate was elected in 2011 with less than 50% of the vote, then the way to vote is to cast a vote for the candidate from ANY party who has the best chance to defeat the Conservative candidate. No more vote splitting in 2015. Job #1 must be to take away Harper’s majority. We will have many years of hard work to bring back Canada, but nothing will go forward if Harper wins another majority in 2015. We may well end up electing a coalition government. If we work and vote together to do so, we will be in place after the election to hold those elected accountable. Work to increase voter turnout. Work to be sure that everyone knows how to check that they are registered to vote and know the new voter ID rules.

  4. andy says:

    He brought Republican style politics to Canada,and we are and will be paying the price .
    Only one way out Vote him out of office in Oct.

    • LSC says:

      WORK to increase voter turnout. 40% of eligible voters did not vote in 2011. If we can get them to vote in 2015, we know that most of them will sure not be voting for Harper. (The youth vote alone could turn the tables!!!) Work to make sure that people are registered and know the new voter ID rules.

      • CrimeMinister says:

        Isn’t that why Pierre Polpot is trying to suppress the youth vote with his “Fair” Elections Act?

  5. David Maitland says:

    Harper said ‘You won’t recognize Canada when I’m done!” He was right – it is happening before our eyes. This October we have to send him back to the NCC or we are going to lose a compassionate, caring, non-violent society. His meaness, his secrecy, his divisiveness, his lack of openness and accountability and probably the most troubling thing of all – his constant propaganda and lack of honesty are all hallmarks of a repressive regime unable to face the people. Stevie’s gotta go!

    • Jean S says:

      Cnnada is the greatest country in the world. So say the other countries, and citizens of those countries who would love to join us here in Canada. Meaness…ha ha… You sound very mean. Who raised you , and why must the PM (Stevie) leave because you . Another shooting here in Ottawa last night. Is the PM responsible for every shooting/stabbing that happens. PRIME MINISTER guided us extremely well through the last depression. But no mention of that from you. Give up on your ignorance of all situations and how Canada was/is being run. People will exercise their right to vote without your comments…

  6. Jeannine Stone says:

    Canada is the only country that could survive on living freely without any import goods… I say close the borders and live on our means.. no more contracts to any foreign country.. we have all the needs to do so.. would take a little getting use to but certainly would make Canada the riches country in the world

  7. Jyll Valade says:

    So, it’s all big meany Harpers fault ! Cry the liberals and Ndpers. Harper has created all the conditions that lost manufacturing jobs in Canada. It’s obvious that the change to wind and natural gas electrical power generation costing a 47% hike in electricity cost had no effect to Ontario industry. This move cloed jobs at coal plants and hydro installations while providing short term jobs for liberal investors. Harper must of caused the Oil bust to happen so that his inaction on forcing the emirates to raise the prices of oil so Canadian oil production could be competetive again. Harper must have created all the foriegn interest groups who pay idiot Canadians and jobless proffesional Global protesters who always appear on CBC trying to stop any investment in canadian products. Wow Harper is either powerful or the Liberals who post here are just plain mis informed on the geo politics actually going on here. The author has picked his talking points and used them to his advantage, attempting to exhort the masses to his action, well done Rasputin you gave it a good show now we have to listen to the sheep bleat.

  8. Dyson says:

    That’s the result of a government that simply doesn’t understand that it has a role to play in creating the full time, permanent, well paid jobs of the future. Canada lost 20,000 jobs and Employment Minister Jason Kenney’s only response was to tweet, he later added.

  9. favill says:

    Many of those manufacturing jobs were in Ontario and left very recently due to the Green Energy Act passed by the Provincial Liberal Government. Essentially, electricity rates in Ontario have easily doubled from previous years and those factories (all of which are electricity intensive) couldn’t do business in Ontario anymore and remain competitive. Not Harper’s fault…McGuinty/Wynne’s fault. THINK…the media has no clue what runs businesses…they applaud “Green Energy” not realizing the millions of birds and bats those windmills kill every single year, which also drives up electricity rates, increases our hydro bill to ridiculous levels and more importantly drives the businesses that would to employ us away.

    • Diana says:

      It is NAFTA that drove away Hersheys, Catapiller and Heinz and all the other big companies, NAFTA is a conservative plan. Harper doesn’t help Ontario out after he scares away all the jobs he just sends money to Alberta. Harper wants to crush Ontario because we are a very liberal minded province. Starving angry people vote conservative. Inspite of being the have not province we are, we still send huge transfer fees to Alberta? Why is Harper not supporting the roads in the north to get to the Ring Of Fire. We could be very wealthy but we need that kind of federal support. You can bet Federal money put roads and infrastructure to Fort McMurry.

  10. Brian Bard says:

    The loss of jobs in Canada goes back to 1993 when the Clinton administration sucked Canada into the NAFTA agreement. We witnessed the closure of most American subsidiaries in S.W. Ontario & the loss of 500,000 manufacturing jobs within 5 years. We will never see those jobs return to Canada, we cannot compete with China, S. Korea, Mexico, etc.

  11. robin hawes says:

    our tax dollars went to subsize corp. canada they in turn were supposed to create jobs, however much of this money went overseas and we saw no benifit, the rich got richer and to hell with the poor

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