Statistics Canada’s newly released job numbers are a concern to the Saskatchewan NDP.
Ryan Meili, leader of the Saskatchewan NDP, noted that 23,000 fewer people are working in the province now than at this time last year. He called it “a massive hit” to working families in the province.
“It needs to be a wake up call to Scott Moe and the Saskatchewan Party,” said Meili. “It’s a concern when we see how many families and people are facing additional hardships from the stresses of being out of work, and those numbers are not getting better.”
Meili continued by saying unemployment numbers are on the rise in the province, too. Saskatchewan saw a slight uptick from 7.2 per cent to 7.3 per cent in the rate of unemployment in February.
As an example, he used a recent decision by the Sask. Party government to reject a grant sought by True North Renewable Fuels (TRNF) as a missed opportunity to create good jobs in the province. TRNF proposed a Regina biodiesel plant which could create 2,500 construction jobs and 150 permanent jobs in Regina.
The NDP leader said there’s no question the COVID-19 pandemic is the cause of these job losses, but added that the government should be doing more to get them back to work.
“There needs to be a jobs plan or support for small businesses the way they should or supporting families to get back to work,” mentioned Meili. “This is a sign of a government trying to coast on this, trying to blame the pandemic and not trying to do everything they can.”
The opposition party also questioned the government’s lack of support for women who have to choose between child care and work during the pandemic.
“There are so many people struggling to get by now. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccine but people still don’t know if their job will be coming back,” stated Young on Friday.
“We need a plan that helps small businesses rehire those they’ve had to lay off and we need support to help women get back in the workplace. They waited a full year into the pandemic to spend money from the fed government on child care. It shows their priorities just aren’t in the right place.”