The report by Statistics Canada on job creation in the month of June should ring many alarm bells, especially within the government caucus and in the head of every worker in Ontario. The Ontario economy lost over 11,000 full-time jobs which can’t be made up for by part-time work. Moreover, June took away 9,100 youth jobs and 2,200 manufacturing jobs – key components of a skilled, stable and well-paid workforce. The government’s own budget figures predict a slowdown in economic growth to 1.7 per cent by 2020, and a slowdown in job creation by almost a third by that date. Ontario can do better and it would, if only the present government let it do so.
The cost of electricity and over-regulation are driving our jobs and entrepreneurs away, factors confirmed by independent bodies such as the Fraser Institute. Instead of predicting a bleak future for Ontario’s job growth, the government should remove the barriers that stand in its way. We could stop the reckless pursuit of overpaid wind and solar generation our grid doesn’t need. We could halt a costly and cumbersome cap-and-trade system that funnels our money to California in exchange for nothing of value. We could reduce businesses’ wait times for licenses and permits by cutting red tape and building processing capacity. When six in 10 Employment Ontario program trainees are out of work after training, we could tailor training and apprenticeship programs to local labour market needs and trends. Those policies would be a good start.
Jim McDonell, MPP