Everyone deserves a good job

I believe in a good job for everyone—because a good job is the best way to make sure working women and men share Ontario’s prosperity.
In Ontario, the manufacturing sector is the bedrock of our economy. Factories, plants, and mills are our biggest employers. They provide good jobs for more than one million Ontarians.
They are the kind of good-paying jobs, with benefits, that give people the opportunity to buy a home, raise a family, and make meaningful contributions to their community.
But there’s a problem in Ontario’s manufacturing heartland—a jobs crisis. Since June, 2004, 100,000 Ontarians in the manufacturing sector have lost their jobs, including 4,000 people in forestry communities.
That’s a 10 percent decline in just two years.
Those aren’t just numbers. They’re people with families, mortgages, and car payments. They’re people who work hard and play by the rules so they can make a decent living for their families.
The jobs crisis is hurting people in communities across Ontario—in Northwestern Ontario forestry communities and in industrial communities across southern Ontario.
Premier Dalton McGuinty, regrettably, has taken a hands-off approach to jobs. At best, he is standing on the sidelines doing nothing while Ontario bleeds good manufacturing jobs.
At worst, members of his government are insulting laid-off workers, calling them “whiners” and “crybabies.”
New Democrats believe workers deserve better. That’s why I have introduced the Job Protection Act. If passed, the bill would establish a Job Protection Commissioner to help at-risk companies overcome financial difficulties to sustain good jobs.
The NDP plan for a Job Protection Commissioner would create a strong, energetic, effective jobs advocate—an honest broker with a clear mandate to bring workers, employers, creditors, investors, and community leaders together to put troubled businesses back on a solid footing to protect communities and sustain good jobs.
Here’s how the bill would work. When there are rising threats to industries, even before companies get into financial difficulties, the Job Protection Commissioner would step in to bring all parties together, to bring the focus of government to bear on the situation and help negotiate new deals with banks, employees, and creditors—to keep plants running and people working.
The bill is based on British Columbia’s successful Jobs Protection Commissioner. Over an 11-year span, between 1990 and 2001, it saved 75,000 good B.C. jobs.
The NDP’s Job Protection Act is good for workers, good for business, good for communities, and good for Ontario. I urge all MPPs from all parties to support it.

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