In the wake of a dramatic drop in employment numbers in July, New Democrats are calling on the Liberals to take action to significantly improve access to EI and stimulate job growth.

Numbers released by Statistics Canada this morning show a loss of 31,200 jobs since June 2016, the biggest one-month decline in five years. 

“The Liberals promised to improve access to EI for Canadians, but it is still not there for so many who have paid into it and now need benefits,” said NDP Critic for Finance and Critic for Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Guy Caron (Rimouski – Neigette- Témiscouta – Les Basques). “In light of these significant job losses, creating a universal qualifying threshold of 360 hours and re-instating the extra five weeks program for all seasonal workers is more critical than ever, and would significantly help areas like Atlantic Canada.”

Numbers from Statistics Canada also show a sharp decline in part-time jobs amongst youth aged 15 to 24. The Liberals had promised immediately introduce a youth employment strategy by providing employers with a break on EI premiums if they give permeant jobs to young people, but failed to include it in Budget 2016.

“This decision is hurting young Canadians just as they are trying to get a foothold in the job market,” said NDP Jobs, Employment and Workforce Development Critic Niki Ashton (Churchill – Keewatinook – Aski). “The Liberals must immediately live up to their campaign promise to spur youth employment for millennials – young Canadians can’t wait for them to do yet more consultations,” she added.

The Liberals have also abandoned their commitment to lower the small business tax rate, a move which will reportedly cost small businesses in Canada $2.2 billion over the next four years. “Given the struggles faced by so many Canadian families, the Liberals should immediately move to encourage job creation and give small businesses the tax break they were promised.” concluded Caron.