Hampton decries lack of action on crisis

NDP leader Howard Hampton on Monday asked tough questions of Dalton McGuinty over the premier’s failure to take any meaningful action to help workers in the embattled manufacturing sector.
“Every time I visit Ontario’s industrial heartland communities, people tell me their number-one priority is the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs,” Hampton said.
“Mr. McGuinty must answer to why he is only studying the problem when what people want is for him to take action to sustain jobs and keep Ontario families working.”
Hampton raised the issue in Monday’s first Question Period of the new legislative session.
The NDP leader asked McGuinty to explain why he commissioned another study of the manufacturing jobs crisis instead of actually doing something to sustain jobs and keep Ontarians working.
Leading the study will be David Ramsay, who, as minister of natural resources, oversaw the loss of tens of thousands of forest industry jobs.
“Is the premier alarmed by the loss of tens of thousands of good-paying manufacturing jobs, alarmed by the loss of thousands of jobs in Northern Ontario forest communities, alarmed by double-digit unemployment in auto sector communities like Windsor—and if so—why is he studying the crisis instead of taking action to sustain Ontario jobs?” Hampton asked.
With McGuinty as premier, Ontario has lost 175,000 manufacturing jobs.
Banks project Ontario’s economic growth in 2008 will be dead last in Canada. Market watchers like Ward’s Automotive Report say Ontario’s manufacturing problems only will intensify as Ontario vehicle output declines through 2012.
Hampton urged the McGuinty government to take real steps to address the crisis.
“Does the premier understand there are positive steps Ontario can take to sustain manufacturing jobs, like an industrial hydro rate for companies that guarantee jobs and meet energy efficiency targets, like a government “Buy Ontario” policy, and like a Jobs Commissioner—and if so—will he bring forward legislation to make these ideas government policy without delay?” Hampton wondered.

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