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.
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