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CLC President Ken Georgetti responds to Finance Minister's Claim

Posted: Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Canadian Labour Congress President Ken Georgetti has sent the following letter to Finance Minister James Flaherty calling on him to retract statements he is making that the CLC gives unqualified support for his 2011 budget.

March 23, 2011

Honourable James Flaherty
Minister of Finance
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

Dear Minister:

I am deeply troubled to hear you are misleading the public that the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) gives unqualified endorsement of your government’s budget, released yesterday.

With unemployment and underemployment still at high levels, you could have led the way to a sustained and broadly shared economic recovery. Instead you introduced only modest new job creation and social spending measures. With many of the jobs created in the short recovery from the recession being just part-time and temporary, and the unemployment rate still well above the rates prior to the recession. After you tabled your budget, had you been willing to open dialogue with the opposition parties, you could very well have settled it. It was our expectation that the government would want to negotiate, as you have in the past.

Minister, one can support parts of your budget without giving it full endorsement. While we have supported certain measures in the budget, we in no way have given unqualified support for the budget as a whole. We are looking for a real timetable for improving Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits, not vague promises to expand the CPP at some later date. We have certainly opposed your government's planned corporate tax cuts and expressed our concern over where $4 billion a year of planned spending cuts will come from.

To suggest, as you have been stating in the media that the CLC fully endorses your budget is misleading and we respectfully request you cease making these statements. I attach our detailed analysis of your government's 2011 budget for your further information regarding our concerns in this regard.



Kenneth V. Georgetti