Time for Change Tour Inspires Political Involvement

September 1, 2015

Earlier this summer union members gathered in communities across Canada to commit to working for change in the fall federal election. Each free event on the Canadian Labour Congress’ Time for Change Tour gave union members an opportunity to meet and learn about four key issues in the upcoming election:

  1. Retirement Security

No one should have to retire in poverty, but 11 million Canadians don’t have a workplace pension plan. The Canada Pension Plan is safe and effective, with low management costs and a defined benefit that keeps up with the cost of living. Just as importantly, it covers everyone, following workers from job to job across the country.

For less than the cost of a cup of coffee and a donut a day, the average worker could double their CPP retirement benefits. Unfortunately, the Conservative government is ignoring our looming retirement savings crisis, despite calls from provincial leaders, economists and the public to expand the CPP.

  1. Good Jobs

Nearly three quarters of the jobs created over the past six years have been precarious: part-time, temporary or in the self-employed sector. Nearly a million Canadians have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet.

CLC President Hassan Yussuff spoke at the Lower Mainland tour stop on June 8. “This isn’t the kind of Canada we promised our kids,” he said of our current economic situation.

The CLC says it’s time for a government that will invest in public infrastructure, including rapid transit, and make jobs and training a priority, particularly for health care professionals, to better prepare for our aging population and the demands that will be placed on our health care system.

  1. Health Care

Have you struggled to find a family doctor? If so, you’re not alone. Four million Canadians don’t have a family doctor. While Canadians wait for health care and long-term care, the Conservative government is cutting health spending by $36 billion by 2024. The better choice would be training more health care professionals. This would help more than three million Canadians who can’t afford the medication they need, as well as actually saving the system money – a 32 per cent reduction in spending, according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

  1. Child Care

Four out of five Canadian children under age six don’t have access to a regulated child care space. When a family can get space for their child, the cost often becomes their second-highest expense after housing. Quebec’s public child care system has seen a 254 per cent return in socioeconomic benefits. A national child care system is a better choice for children, families and the economy.

Yussuff was very clear that he believes the NDP is the party most committed and best positioned to make these better choices for Canadians: “What the NDP is offering is very clear: a government that will make better choices. On this campaign, I’m asking you to give a little bit of time and bring a friend. We have to work hard, because what’s at stake is greater than any of us; this is about the future of our country.”

Pictured above: Left – Hassan Yussuff; Right – Lori Mayhew