Bruske meets Deputy Prime Minister Freeland to discuss help for workers

October 18, 2021

OTTAWA—Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress, and Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, held a constructive meeting today about the challenges working people are still facing as Canada starts on the long road to an economic recovery.

“I want to thank Minister Freeland for a positive discussion. Her government has extended vital support throughout the pandemic to working people and their families,” said Bruske. “Our economy still hasn’t met the government’s own benchmarks, their own fiscal guardrails they set for Canada’s labour market. With so many still unemployed, many for over a year or more, and so many others still unable to qualify for EI – there remains a critical need for emergency supports like the CRB.”

According to Statistics Canada’s latest jobs report, the unemployment rate is still 1.2 percentage points over February 2020 and about 2.5 million are either looking for work, not working enough hours, or have been pushed out of the labour market altogether. Lower paid people relying on precarious work have been particularly hard hit. EI applications right now are at 100,000 a week, twice as high as August.

“Sadly, the pandemic is not over. Canada’s unions look forward to working with Minister Freeland and her government, alongside the new Parliament, on building an economic recovery with workers at its heart”, concluded Bruske. “In addition to the need for extending emergency supports, we addressed the affordable housing crisis, the need for climate action and a just transition, and the critical need for affordable child care, so women can rejoin the labour force.”

Freeland and Bruske both pledged to keep lines of communication between the government and Canada’s unions open on these vital issues.

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CLC Media Relations