OTTAWA – Canada’s unions are calling on the federal government to focus on the country’s economic recovery and social safety net in its budget to be released Thursday, prioritizing ten key demands.
“The reality is, not everyone is sharing in the economic recovery,” said Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). “Many families are still facing enormous insecurity and a precarious job market. It is critical that the government use Budget 2022 to launch our country on a path to economic recovery and a stronger social safety net to ensure no one is left behind,” said Bruske.
The CLC’s top priorities for Budget 2022 include:
- Expand funding for Canada’s health care system, with dedicated transfers for investments to address the staffing crisis in the sector, a national dental care program, public and not-for-profit long-term care, and mental health care. A multi-year commitment to implement a national pharmacare program beginning with $3.5 billion in 2022-23 and increasing incrementally in subsequent years to implement a national essential medicines formulary, as the first step towards implementing a full national, universal, single-payer pharmacare system.
- Ambitious direct federal funding for the development of new, non-market, affordable housing (including co-op and non-market rental housing), and serious efforts to combat financial speculation in housing by fairly and progressively taxing house-flipping and vacant properties to capture windfall real estate gains that go to the wealthiest Canadians.
- A commitment to pass and implement a worker-centred Just Transition Act in 2022, and make multi-billion dollar investments over 5 years to support training; and develop renewable energy, home and building retrofits, and low-emissions public transportation.
- Make significant investments in health care, education, social services, clean drinking water, housing, and infrastructure for Indigenous communities; take immediate steps to fund and implement the recommendations of the Report on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; and additional investments to undertake the work of burial searches at the former sites of residential schools.
- Investments in the care economy, including a $10 million commitment over three years to establish a Care Economy Commission tasked with planning for the future of Canada’s care economy, and long-term funding for a high quality, affordable, public and not-for-profit child care system, including a commitment to improve compensation for early childhood educators and child care workers, implement a workforce strategy and develop a multi-year capital investment plan to build new and expanded public child care facilities.
- Make workplaces fairer for everyone by bringing in 10 paid sick days and anti-scab legislation in the Canada Labour Code into effect in 2022, cracking down on employee misclassification, and a commitment to implement the recommendations of the Report of the Expert Panel on Modern Federal Labour Standards.
- A commitment to permanently increasing accessibility of employment insurance benefits and restoring direct federal government contributions in order to improve EI access and benefit adequacy.
- Concerted action on fair taxation reform, including a wealth tax, as well as a tax on windfall oil and gas profits, closing regressive tax loopholes, and tax changes on financial institutions that have made strong profits during the pandemic.
- Protect and strengthen retirement security with increases to OAS and GIS benefits, and put workers and pensioners at the front of the line in insolvency proceedings. Commit to reforming the Companies’ Creditors Arrangements Act and Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act to exempt post-secondary education institutions and other public entities.
- A commitment to providing unions in Canada with the explicit right to file anti-dumping, countervailing duty and safeguard complaints under Canada’s trade remedy legislation.
To arrange an interview, please contact:
CLC Media Relations