MONTREAL, Que.–The federal government’s new strategy for transportation infrastructure should be judged on the good jobs and public value it creates, says Unifor.
“We welcome renewal of vital infrastructure, but the government’s top priority has to be good job creation and public ownership,” said Unifor National President, Jerry Dias. “The onus is on Minister Garneau to demonstrate how this plan will generate more good jobs and long-term value for Canadians.”
“We can’t support federal investment that leaves workers behind,” said Dias.
Announced in Montreal November 3 by Transportation Minister Marc Garneau, the plan prioritizes foreign ownership and puts an emphasis on international trade “corridors”. Garneau ‘s strategy also relies heavily on the new Canada Infrastructure Bank, which has been criticized as a vehicle for privatization.
Unifor, representing 45,000 workers in the federal transportation sector, says that privatization won’t achieve the desired goal of lower cost infrastructure because privatization has historically led to higher costs for the public, lower-paying jobs, and reduced public oversight.
“Canada’s transportation sector is still a source of good, long-term jobs,” said Dias. “We’ll fight any privatization scheme that puts private profit ahead of public safety and secure employment.”