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Ontario and Quebec call on Ottawa to help immediately


February 4, 2008
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Toronto, ON – Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Quebec Premier Jean Charest are calling on the federal government…

Toronto, ON – Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Quebec Premier Jean Charest are calling on the federal government to take immediate action to help key industries and workers that face tough challenges due to the high Canadian dollar, increasing global competition, high energy prices and a weakening U.S. economy. The announcement was timed as Parliament resumes in Ottawa, with a federal budget in the coming weeks, and also coincided with the recent Council of the Federation meeting in Vancouver.

“All of Canada benefits when Ontario and Quebec succeed in the global economy,” said Premier McGuinty. “The federal government can demonstrate its commitment to Canada’s economic competitiveness by partnering with us to invest in the transformation of our manufacturing sectors.”

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Ontario and Quebec account for 75% of Canada’s manufacturing sector. Both provinces have developed comprehensive strategies and are implementing programs to assist affected sectors, with significant investments to support the transformation of their economies and to help existing and new industries adapt to the changing economic realities.

“We recognize that the decision of the federal government to set up a Community Development Trust is a first step,” said Premier Charest. “However, the amount is not adequate and this federal payment should be introduced into Parliament immediately and not be subject to the approval of a federal budget.”

The premiers call on the federal government to take further action in the upcoming federal budget by providing support for Canada’s workers, communities and enterprises in challenged sectors of the economy. Proposed mechanisms include: supporting provincial plans to assist companies in their transition to new economic opportunities, including low carbon and green technologies, that will create the jobs of the future; targeting federal funding for innovation and R&D in areas that align with provincial program priorities; modernizing the EI program so that laid-off workers in challenged sectors have access to more resources; and implementing a new income support program to provide long-tenure, permanently laid-off workers in challenged sectors with the support they need while they search or train for new jobs.


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