We need an economic summit to unite the three pillars of the Ontario economy – business, labour and government – together as a team to help the ailing economy.
There are all kinds of examples of progress being made when you get the right people in the room. That means people from the boards of trade, labour leaders, and people from the local, provincial and federal levels of government coming together to develop a plan.
The best chance of achieving a balanced approach is by drafting a strategy with the key players in the economy. Business will point to the need for more investment; other unions know what’s needed in their sectors. We’ll make our case that our members in education, health care and social services can play a pivotal role.
Our public agencies involved in retraining the unemployed people are seeing their caseloads increase at a dramatic rate. Our colleges are turning away students as enrollment increases, and hospitals are laying off staff.
The public sector provides almost a quarter of the jobs in any community. Now more than ever, we’re needed to stop the economic bleeding.
There are good people on the ground who want to help, but they need the resources. Let’s rebuild the infrastructure of the economy and get the province on the road to recovery.
Our five-point “good jobs” strategy, found on this website, calls for enhanced public services and guaranteed retraining opportunities. And we think the economic development portfolios of the provincial government ministries should be enhanced to once again fill a leadership role in the economy.
The current economic crisis demands that all key players in the provincial economy sit down together to put forward a strategy we can all agree on. Working together as a team is better than each of us working separately.
We are calling for the Premier to come on board.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas