OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 23, 2012) - The President of the Canadian Labour Congress says that politicians should stop blaming the unemployed for being out of work and that the federal government should more fully debate its proposed draconian changes to Employment Insurance.
"Government ministers regularly say or imply that there are thousands of jobs going unfilled in Canada because the unemployed do not want to work but this is simply not the case," says CLC President Ken Georgetti.
He was commenting on the release of new figures from Statistics Canada showing that there were 5.8 unemployed workers for every reported job vacancy in Canada for the three months ending in February 2012. This number rises to an average of about 10 unemployed workers for every open job slot in Atlantic Canada.
"Despite such evidence the government wants to ram through parliament dramatic changes to Employment Insurance that are fundamentally wrong and unfair to working people," Georgetti adds.
The proposed changes to EI are wrapped into a 452-page budget bill, which also contains changes to Old Age Security, the Temporary Foreign Workers Program and the rules surrounding the environmental impact assessments of resource development projects. Opposition parties, the labour movement and other groups are calling for the bill to be divided so that its components can be fully debated.
"There has been no public consultation on the changes wrapped within this jumbo budget bill and as a result they have not received enough critical attention," says Georgetti. "We want the government to split off provisions regarding changes to Employment Insurance so that they can receive adequate scrutiny and debate."
The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.3 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 130 district labour councils. Website: www.canadianlabour.ca. Follow us on Twitter: @CanadianLabour