Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

November 14, 2005 17:18 ET

Economic Update:When Will These Training Initiatives Become Reality?

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, City Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OTTAWA--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 14, 2005) - Minister of Finance Ralph Goodale's Economic and Fiscal Update brings mixed reactions from working Canadians. The Canadian Labour Congress welcomes the government's new focus on training and its announced interest "in working with both labour and employers to pilot test the most creative new techniques to advance workplace skills." However, there is disappointment that government may not move on these rapidly, and that most of the proposed initiatives are entirely contingent upon agreement with the provinces.

"For five long years, the Canadian Labour Congress has advocated a similar focus on training and proposed pilot initiatives that address both the needs of Canadian working women and men, and the productivity challenges of the economy," explains Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress. "It's good to see the government adopting this position, but is it too late? In the current climate in Ottawa, when will any of these initiatives become a reality?"

The Canadian Labour Congress had clearly stated expectations from this Economic and Fiscal Update. We were looking for:

?investments in skills training and learning

?investments in transportation and communications infrastructure

?investments in public health care (medicare is a huge competitive advantage)

A comprehensive analysis of the Economic and Fiscal Update will be posted on our web site ( tomorrow morning.

As for across the board corporate tax-cuts, the Canadian Labour Congress reminds the government that corporate profits are already at an all-time high and our corporate tax rates are as low as those in the US. Yet, these records profits have not necessarily translated into more business investment and better jobs. Large Canadian corporations are parking them in offshore tax shelters, in excess of 72 billion dollars by the end of 2004.

"How much more evidence does the government need that across the board corporate tax-cuts are a drag on the economy? The economy calls for targeted tax-cuts to help hard-pressed manufacturers make badly-needed investments in workers' training, research and development, new machinery and to adjust to the higher dollar," concludes Georgetti.

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 137 district labour councils. Web site:

Contact: Jeff Atkinson, 613-526-7425 and 613-863-1413

/For further information: Jean Wolff, 613-526-7431 and 613-878-6040/ IN: ECONOMY, FINANCE, LABOUR, POLITICS, SOCIAL

Contact Information

  • Jeff Atkinson, Canadian Labour Congress
    Primary Phone: 613-526-7425
    Secondary Phone: 613-863-1413