Mr. Speaker, in question period I recently challenged the government to act on real solutions to stem the flood of job losses in the manufacturing sector; 11,000 in Hamilton alone and over one-quarter million nationwide.
The minister's answer was, in essence, that he was “taking care of business”. That line has not made workers happy since Bachman-Turner Overdrive took that song to the top of the charts in 1974.
Working families deserve more than song and dance from their government. It is time for government to be at the table when companies like Stelco in Hamilton contemplate mergers, partnerships, acquisitions or sales.
The government needs to ensure that no action is taken on the backs of workers and retirees. It is time to stand up for working families, demand that collective agreements be respected, ensure that all pension and benefit obligations for active and retired workers are honoured and ensure that jobs will be protected.
Workers need those decent paying jobs to sustain their families, small businesses need them to stay afloat and our city needs them for the tax base that supports community centres, hospitals and schools.
During the election, the Prime Minister promised he would stand up for Canada. The time to deliver is now.