Posted: Monday, 15 October 2012
On behalf of the 3.3 million members of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), we want to thank you for the opportunity to present our views regarding the 2013 federal budget.
The CLC brings together workers from virtually all sectors of the Canadian economy, in all occupations, in all parts of Canada.
Leading economists, including bank economists, say that Canada’s economic recovery is stalling due to slowing business investment, high household debt, and weak global growth.
Business investments are not where they should be. The across-theboard corporate tax cuts didn’t deliver the promised investments in real assets, such as new factories and in workers’ training, and thus these cuts failed to boost economic growth and productivity, and did not help
create more and better jobs.
Instead, those across-the-board corporate tax cuts delivered higher compensation to CEOs, cost Canadians billions in lower than expected government revenues, led to a higher federal deficit and debt, and cuts to public services.
However, those across-the-board corporate tax cuts have helped private, non-financial corporations in Canada to hoard over 500 billion dollars in cash reserves, money that is not at work creating more and better jobs in Canada.
To compensate for the lack of investment from corporations, we need a major public investment program to create good jobs now, promote our environmental goals, stimulate new private sector investment, and boost productivity.
The CLC calls for the federal government to launch, in partnership with the provinces and cities, a major, multi-year public investment program.
Such a program should include increased support for: basic municipal infrastructure; mass transit and passenger rail; affordable housing; quality, affordable childcare; energy conservation through building retrofits; and renewable energy projects.
Canada’s over reliance on unprocessed and semi-processed resource exports has a negative impact on productivity.
The CLC supports targeted measures to sustain and create good jobs in manufacturing, and to maximize job creation in industries linked to the resource sector.
This will require active government strategies on trade, sectoral development, and domestic procurement strategies.
Encouraging value-added production and investment in key sectors, along with “green job and green skills initiatives,” will enhance innovation and labour productivity.
Having a sectoral development policy seeking to promote more investment, production, employment, and exports in especially important sectors of the economy, is key to attaining a more desirable sectoral mix and a greater share of output and employment in high-value or “strategic” sectors.