John Rafferty – Holes Poked in Job Creation Numbers

Parliament Hill

John Rafferty
John Rafferty

OTTAWA – This week some hard numbers poked some pretty big holes in the Conservative government’s rhetoric concerning both Canada Post and job creation in this country.

It was just over a year ago that the Conservatives announced the end of home mail delivery from Canada Post over the next few years.  The arguments in favour of ending home delivery are, on their face, bogus. I have heard the following three reasons offered by the government and some constituents on the cuts; a) mail volumes are plummeting, b) the internet has rendered mail useless, and c) Canada Post loses money and I don’t want to pay for it.

These arguments are exaggerated at best and flat out false at worst.  Mail volumes are up, internet businesses are shipping parcels like crazy, and the profits of the corporation far outweigh the losses.  Just this week the Canada Post group’s net profit in the second quarter of 2014 was reported to be $67 million – which is $67 million that goes directly into our federal bank account.  The profit this quarter should not come as a surprise to anyone except those who believe the Conservative spin.  The yearly profit for Canada Post by year from 2002 to 2012;  $71 million (2002), $253 million (2003), $147 million (2004), $199 million (2005),  $119 million (2006), $54 million (2007), $139 million (2008),  $357 million (2009), $142 million (2010), loss of $226 million (2011),  and back to profit in 2012 with $131 million taken in.

Doing the math, Canada Post has actually passed on $1 BILLION IN PROFITS to taxpayers over the 10 years ending 2012 – and all while providing timely and high quality service to our doorsteps and mailboxes.  So why are we cutting 5000 jobs and door-to-door service for Canadians again?  Because Mr. Harper wants it that way.  There is no other tangible reason.

In another shock (to some) Canada’s job market took another historical hit this month.  While claiming that his government has created “one million net new jobs” since the end of crisis, and conveniently ignoring the fact that more than one million foreign nationals have also become Canadian citizens in this time, Mr. Harper seems very happy to let his record speak for itself and is convinced that history will ultimately tell the truth.  Well, history is starting to speak and it’s not saying nice things about Canada’s job market under the Harper Conservatives.

Statistics Canada reported Friday that Canada lost 118,000 private sector jobs in August – a bit more than the population of Thunder Bay – which is the largest loss in any one month since the agency began collecting statistics.  Partially offsetting the record breaking job losses the agency also found that 87,000 Canadians identified as being as being newly “self-employed,” a category that mixes small businesses, consultants, and those who are working while not being paid by someone else.

The August jobs report was very troubling in that a record number of Canadians lost their pay cheques and decided to roll the dice and try to make some money on their own by going into business for themselves.  Of course, why wouldn’t they?  There are no jobs.

The bogus claims of the Conservatives are starting to add up and cost Canadians dearly.  From exaggerating the temporary struggles of Canada Post to the health of our economy and job market Mr. Harper and his government are showing that he offers Canadians nothing but self-serving theories as hard working Canadians lose services, jobs, and economic stability for their households.

New Democrats think you deserve better.  We will end the lies that are perpetuated to destroy of our national institutions like Canada Post and the CBC.  We will restore home delivery for those who are set to lose it, and take active measures to create jobs, improve the skills of young and old workers alike to get the struggling economy back on its feet.  In short, we’ll deliver the services and programs that you and our economy expect, need, and deserve.John Rafferty MP
Thunder Bay Rainy River

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    John Rafferty is the current Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay – Rainy River and a member of the New Democratic Party caucus in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Ontario. John was first elected to serve as MP in the 2008 federal election and was subsequently re-elected on May 2, 2011 with 48.1% of the vote.