STATEMENT FROM LEADER OF THE OFFICIAL OPPOSITION PATRICK BROWN ON SEPTEMBER JOB NUMBERS

Published on October 09, 2015

“The job numbers released today unfortunately show that unemployment increased in the month of September, continuing a trend that began in August.

The numbers speak for themselves.  Once considered the economic engine of Canada, Ontario has fallen from “have” to “have-not” status.  This is unacceptable.

While the Liberals continue to claim that Ontario’s economy is thriving, the Fraser Institute reports that private-sector investment has only risen by 17.8% since 2002.

When our electricity rates were among the most competitive, Ontario was a manufacturing heavyweight and the economic powerhouse of Canada.  Now that our electricity rates are one of the highest in North America, we are down more than 350,000 manufacturing jobs.

While automotive assembly and parts manufacturing in Ontario accounted for roughly one in five jobs in 2001, the ratio had fallen to one in eight by 2013.

Employment in Ontario’s forestry sector has been reduced by 52% since 2005.

Since 2006, Ontario’s agriculture sector has lost more than 18,000 jobs.

And more than 2,500 hospital positions have been cut since 2010.

These blows to our economy are the result of poor economic policies this government currently has in place.  Unfortunately, the Liberal government’s upcoming policies are creating even more uncertainty at a time when companies need stability in order to invest.

The reality is that the cost of living in this province is going up, and Ontarians are struggling to make ends meet.  Ontario already has among the highest energy prices in North America, and they are set to increase.  Yet the government has offered no assurance that their fire sale of Hydro One will not result in even more increases for ratepayers.

A Liberal Government has meant higher prices and higher taxes that will affect the entire province. Yet this government continues to implement policies that kill jobs and hurt competitiveness.

Time and time again, this government has proven their inability to manage the Ontario economy and successfully encourage job creation.  Until the Wynne government addresses critical economic issues, Ontario will continue on this dismal path.

We can, and we must, do better.”