Canada’s unions: Throne Speech signals commitment to invest in workers
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Canada’s unions: Throne Speech signals commitment to invest in workers

Canada’s unions: Throne Speech signals commitment to invest in workers

OTTAWA – Canada’s unions welcome the policy direction the government has laid out in today’s Speech from the Throne, with a focus on investing in job creation and social programs that will support those most impacted by the pandemic.

“The government is making it clear that it is listening to the concerns of workers and their families by recognizing that investments are the only way to get us through this pandemic. We only have to look at the United States to understand how critical it is for us to keep working together towards a full recovery,” said Canadian Labour Congress President, Hassan Yussuff.

The Speech from the Throne made specific commitments towards creating:

  • 1 million new jobs, including investments in infrastructure, public transit, energy efficient retrofits, clean energy, affordable housing, and domestic production of Personal Protective Equipment;
  • Accelerating implementation of a universal national pharmacare program;
  • An early learning and child care system;
  • Working with the provinces and territories to set new, national standards for long-term care;
  • Task force to address the specific impacts on women;
  • Strengthened Employment Insurance and the introduction of the Canada Recovery Benefit;
  • Supports for hardest-hit industries including travel, tourism, hospitality, and cultural industries like the performing arts;
  • Immediate training to quickly skill up workers; and
  • A new Canadian Disability Benefit.

“It’s time to roll up our sleeves. We’re going to have to keep working closely with the government to ensure that they get the details on these programs and initiatives right. The provinces are going to have to step up and work with the federal government to make pharmacare a reality,” said Yussuff. “No doubt, there will be those calling for austerity even as people are vulnerable and need our governments to step up most. The federal government must stay the course and invest in people.”

“Long-standing systemic racism has meant that this pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on racialized and Indigenous communities. We welcome efforts to address inequality and we will continue advocating for all workers,” said Yussuff.

To arrange an interview, please contact:
CLC Media Relations
media@clcctc.ca
613-526-7426

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Throne speech must move the country forward
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Throne speech must move the country forward

Throne speech must move the country forward

OTTAWA – Canada’s unions are calling on the federal government to make firm commitments towards investing in the country’s economic recovery in the upcoming Speech from the Throne.

“Social programs like national pharmacare and child care will help to rectify structural inequities that this pandemic has made all the more clear,” said Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress. “A stronger public health system that includes mental health, long-term care and home care will help to protect people in Canada throughout this pandemic and beyond.”

The pandemic has underscored the inseparability of Canada’s economic, health and social well-being. A sound recovery will depend on the government’s efforts towards addressing the stark gaps in our social safety net and ensuring that the most vulnerable communities are not left behind.

The establishment of the CERB was a response to the inadequacy of the country’s Employment Insurance program and the government will need to shore up the system to address current and future job losses. The government must also invest in job training, as well as a national child care system to further address the negative impacts on women.

People of colour, including Black Canadians and Indigenous communities, are facing particular challenges that have been exacerbated during this pandemic. The Speech from the Throne must include concrete action to address systemic racism and discrimination.

“We have the opportunity to disaster-proof our communities now and into the future,” said Yussuff. “People in Canada deserve a government that is ready to rise to the challenge and make significant investments that will support a strong recovery that includes everyone.”

The Throne speech must further include a plan to invest in job creation, including building green infrastructure while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

For more information:
CLC Media Relations
media@clcctc.ca
613-526-7426

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Canada’s unions applaud cancellation of U.S. tariffs
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Canada’s unions applaud cancellation of U.S. tariffs

Canada’s unions applaud cancellation of U.S. tariffs

OTTAWA – Canada’s unions commend the federal government for acting decisively to end the standoff over U.S.-imposed tariffs on the country’s aluminum exports.

Earlier today, the American government reversed the highly contentious tariffs just hours before the Canadian government was set to impose its own retaliatory actions. Those actions would have had significant repercussions in the U.S. and would have impacted jobs.

“The American government had no business imposing these tariffs to begin with. Canadian workers cannot be used as pawns in a political fight that has nothing to do with them,” said Hassan Yussuff, president of the Canadian Labour Congress. “The federal government should be commended for its strong defence of Canadian industry and for its ongoing resolve in defending workers.”

The American government had imposed the 10% tariff on aluminum in August. This came just months after it had lifted previously imposed tariffs following the ratification of the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement and which Canada’s unions fought for over a year to have removed.

“We’ll continue to monitor the situation and urge the federal government to continue defending these vital Canadian industries and the hundreds of thousands of workers who rely on them,” said Yussuff.

To arrange an interview, please contact:

CLC Media Relations
media@clcctc.ca
613-526-7426

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Canada’s unions celebrate BC court rejection of private health care
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Canada’s unions celebrate BC court rejection of private health care

Canada’s unions celebrate BC court rejection of private health care

OTTAWA – Canada’s unions applaud the decision by the BC Supreme Court to uphold the integrity of the country’s single-payer health care system.

The Cambie Surgeries Centre case put Canada’s public medicare system on trial and threatened the principle of universal and equal access to health care. The court’s decision to reject the arguments made by Dr. Brian Day is a significant blow to those who would push for profit-driven care in this country.

“Looking at what’s happening in the United States, this pandemic has demonstrated how important Canada’s public health care system is and how devastating private, for-profit care can be,” said CLC President Hassan Yussuff. “Now is the time to be investing in a health care system that serves us all. Two-tier health care is simply un-Canadian.”

Canada’s unions congratulate the BC Health Coalition and Canadian Doctors for Medicare who were intervenors in this case.

“We know the fight to protect public health care won’t end here, but the Cambie decision is an important victory that adds strength to the case that the Canada Health Act allows no leeway for profit over patients,” said Yussuff. “If we’re going to improve the health care system, we have to focus on improving it for everyone, not just for the people with the ability to pay.”

The Court noted that there is a “lack of capacity in the public health system” which has led to some patients having to wait beyond suggested timelines for surgeries.

This is in part due to decades of austerity by successive governments. If this chronic underfunding isn’t rectified, more challenges will be brought against the Canada Health Act.

“This case should serve as a wake-up call to governments that they will have to address decades of underfunding with significant investments into our health care system to ensure it remains equitable and accessible to all,” added Yussuff.

To arrange an interview, please contact:
CLC Media Relations
media@clcctc.ca
613-526-7426

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