Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario

Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario

March 22, 2007 18:30 ET

BUDGET A BALANCED PLAN FOR ALL ONTARIANS, SAYS CONSTRUCTION WORKERS

INJURED WORKERS FINALLY GET INCREASED BENEFITS

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 22, 2007) - The Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario today announced its support for many of the measures in the Ontario Budget..

"A society is judged by the way it treats its most vulnerable citizens," stated Alex Lolua, Director of Government Relations for the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario. "Injured workers suffered the indignity of having their benefits cut in the late 1990's," said Lolua. "Today the process begins to more fairly compensate these people for their workplace injuries."

The budget also proposes to eliminate the process known as deeming. Deeming often results in decreased benefits for an injured worker because benefits are based on the worker's functional ability to do a job that may be non-existent. The labour movement has challenged deeming for many years.

Lolua noted the importance of raising the minimum wage in Ontario. "At a time when most of the province is experiencing record prosperity, minimum wage earners should also benefit from a strong economy. By raising the minimum wage the Ontario Government has made a move forward in helping the working poor," said Lolua.

Other important measures include the announcement of a new convention centre for Niagara Falls, $1 billion dollars in support of the forestry sector and the naming of a Northwestern Ontario Economic Facilitator. "These announcements should help spur job growth in the Niagara Region and in northwestern Ontario," said Lolua. "Many industrial and construction jobs have disappeared, especially in northwestern Ontario. This region requires government assistance to maintain its viability as a place to live and for companies to invest."

The budget also contains $25 million for equipment purchases for training centres. This replaces the Training Centre Infrastructure Fund that was cancelled by the federal conservatives. "This money will help us meet the skills trades demands of the economy," said Lolua. "It fills a big void caused by the cancellation of YCIF.

The Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario is an umbrella organization that represents over 100,000 unionized construction workers in Ontario.
/For further information: Alex Lolua
Director of Government Relations
Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario
416.679.8887 (office)
905.517.0371 (cell)/ IN: ECONOMY, LABOUR, POLITICS

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