OTTAWA – Unifor applauds the federal government for staying the course on COVID-19 supports and recovery in 2021 budget.
“Workers across the country are living through a frightening third wave, and have not recovered from the economic destruction of the past year, so it’s especially important that the federal government continues to support working families and good jobs in critical industries,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “The only proven way to lead Canada out of the COVID-19 recession is through investments, and it’s clear that Minister Freeland understands that reality.”
In summer 2020, as the devastation of the COVID-19 recession was becoming clear, Unifor charted its vision for a fair, inclusive and resilient economic recovery through its Build Back Better plan.
The Union supports the government’s plan to continue COVID-19 supports including flexible access to EI and CEWS for the months to come. The announcement of a new federal child care program shows a commitment to correct the unequal effects of the pandemic on mothers.
Unifor encourages provinces to work cooperatively with the federal government to ensure the $3 billion in new funding for long-term care results in better care, safer work, and fair pay for workers in the sector.
Unifor also supports plans to invest in Canada’s industrial capacity through dedicated funding in the automotive, aerospace, and domestic life sciences industries.
“When the world economy ground to a halt last year, people across the country realized just how important it was to have made-in-Canada products and services. Improving our domestic capacity includes building vehicles, airplanes, street cars and buses. In addition, Canada needs critical infrastructure such as child care, education, and social services that working families rely on to succeed,” continued Dias. “It’s encouraging to see this budget aim to extend the emergency supports, but there is no reason to go back to the way things were before. We need to build back better, for good, and for everyone.”
Unifor members in the federal sector have campaigned for a $15 minimum wage for many years, and the union encourages the federal government to commit to a timeline for this commitment, which was first announced in Budget 2019.
The Union is disappointed by the budget’s silence on implementation of a national, universal pharmacare program, which is an essential addition to the country’s health care system.
Unifor supports the government’s efforts to invest today to prevent further hardship tomorrow. Federal spending in times of economic downturn helps ensure a faster, stronger recovery