Throne Speech Fails to Deliver On Current Economic Crisis, CAW Says

November 20, 2008, 2:22 PM EST


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The federal Conservative's throne speech delivered on November 19 demonstrates a lack of urgency on the part of the federal government to deal with a worsening economic crisis, CAW President Ken Lewenza says.  

"While the government appears to recognize the global financial meltdown, it seems extraordinarily naïve to ignore the fact that this crisis is already having and will continue to have devastating consequences here in Canada," said Lewenza.

The throne speech, although traditionally a broad overview containing few details, offers no indication the federal government has any sort of solid plan to ensure the Canadian economy and Canadian workers do not fall even deeper into hardship, he said.

In fact, the government touted a "clear approach" to Canada's economic future -but was instead very foggy on what this approach might be, he said.

"With so much uncertainty and fear about jobs and the plight of entire sectors such manufacturing, it's long past the time the Harper Conservatives outlined their plans to deal with the crisis," Lewenza said.

"A plan that ensures a much greater portion of the multi-billion dollar E.I. surplus is used to provide benefits to many more of those who have lost jobs through no fault of their own is an important first step," he said.

Also, working Canadians and retirees across the country are concerned about the status and security of pension plans, he said. A federal pension guarantee fund is long past due.

"We need stronger legislation to ensure retirees receive the benefits they are entitled to."

Across the country, workers will be awaiting further details of this economic plan and just how the federal government, who demonstrated real indifference towards workers and their families during their first term, will change the course of the Canadian economy.

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