Canada's NDP

NDP

March 23rd, 2020

NDP Proposes Plan to Get Money into People’s Hands and Save Jobs

New Democrats are calling on the government to follow the lead of other countries and provide direct assistance to all and increase its wage subsidy to keep workers in their jobs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2020

NDP Proposes Plan to Get Money into People’s Hands and Save Jobs

New Democrats are calling on the government to follow the lead of other countries and provide direct assistance to all and increase its wage subsidy to keep workers in their jobs

OTTAWA/DUNCAN – On Monday, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh called on the Liberal government to cut the administrative burden by providing direct assistance to everyone in Canada and follow the lead of other counties by implementing a firing freeze by increasing its wage subsidy to businesses in order to protect Canadians from losing their jobs. A special meeting of Parliament will happen on Tuesday, March 24th to pass emergency legislation to get funding flowing to Canadians at this financially uncertain time.

“People are understandably worried about how they’re going to pay their bills and feed their families. And while it’s a good first step, the help the Liberals have put together will only come in weeks, if not months,” said Singh. “People paying their rent this week need help in the next few days, not in weeks from now. The government needs to provide direct assistance to all Canadians and Indigenous people right now.” Alistair MacGregor (Cowichan-Malahat-Langford) added, “With 37 confirmed cases of COVID-19 now on Vancouver Island, people are understandably concerned about keeping their jobs, paying the bills, and keeping their loved ones safe. The federal government must step up, now, to help Canadians in this unprecedented moment of need.”

The NDP is asking for the government to send a check of $2,000 – with an additional $250 per child – to all Canadians and Indigenous people right away. In addition, the NDP is also asking the government to increase the wage subsidy to above 75% of an employee’s salary like other countries have done. In exchange, companies will need to make a commitment to not layoff their workers.

“Tens of thousands of Canadians have already been laid-off and many more are worried about losing their jobs. Businesses have been clear, the government’s wage subsidy of 10% will not be enough to prevent layoffs,” said Singh. “To save these jobs and to make sure workers continue to get paid, the government need to step up and offer a bigger wage subsidy like other countries have done. We shouldn’t wait for more people to lose their jobs before taking the next steps. Let’s do what needs to be done and implement a firing freeze right now.” MacGregor added by saying, “We’re seeing layoffs here on Vancouver Island, from the hospitality sector to our regional libraries. Canadians expect that at such a difficult time, our federal government has their best interests in mind, and are taking the necessary steps to protect workers and their families.”

Key Facts:

  • Just a few examples of big job losses last week:
    • Fiat Chrysler – 8,900 workers out of work
    • Cirque de Soleil – 4,769 workers out of work
    • Irving Shipyard – 1,100 workers out of work
    • Casinos in Ontario – 17,600 workers out of work
    • Porter Air – 1,500 workers out of work
    • Ford Canada – 6,000 workers out of work
    • GM Canada – 3,740 workers out of work
    • Air Canada – 5,000 workers out of work
  • New Zealand, Sweden, Denmark, the United Kingdom and France have already made a move to implement a similar wage subsidy to protect their workers.
  • Hong Kong, Italy, Spain and France have all provided their people with assistance to help them pay their bills.