Much more than finger-pointing needed: Hampton

NDP leader Howard Hampton says the McGuinty government must do more than point the finger at Ottawa, and take immediate and bold action to reverse an Ontario manufacturing recession that December’s jobs’ report suggests has taken a dramatic turn for the worse.
Hampton said a good place to start would be to immediately introduce a competitive industrial hydro rate for key manufacturing and resource sectors.
“25,000 good-paying manufacturing jobs were lost in December alone, meaning more than 200,000 manufacturing and resource sector jobs have been lost in this province since July, 2004,” Hampton noted.
“And all the McGuinty Liberals do is stand on the sidelines and point the finger at Ottawa,” he charged.
Hampton, who has been speaking out on the crisis in the manufacturing sector for more than three years now, said the magnitude of December’s job losses surprised even him.
“It’s now at the point where tens of thousands of families across Ontario are losing their livelihoods and security every month,” Hampton said. “Dalton McGuinty has forgotten Ontario’s manufacturing heartland and the people working in those jobs.”
Hampton called on McGuinty to make revitalizing Ontario’s manufacturing and resource sector, and helping working families, a priority for the government—starting with a new industrial hydro rate.
“The creation of an industrial hydro rate would go a long way to reducing the costs associated with the manufacturing sector in Ontario while, at the same time, promoting conservation and protecting jobs,” he remarked.
“A new industrial hydro rate of no more than $55 per megawatt hour has wide-spread support from business, labour, and many economists—the McGuinty Liberals should act immediately to make an industrial hydro rate a reality,” he stressed.
Hampton also re-iterated the NDP’s long-standing call for a Job Protection Commissioner, tougher plant closure legislation, pension and wage protection, and a “Buy Ontario” purchasing policy.

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