TORONTO – Today Mitzie Hunter, MPP Scarborough-Guildwood and Michael Coteau, MPP Don Valley East responded to the FAO report on regional labour markets.
The FAO report shows that employment fell by 19.1% in Windsor as a result of the pandemic, and St. Catharines-Niagara and Thunder Bay saw employment declines above 15%. Toronto, the province’s biggest employment region, saw a decline of 13.3% February to May.
“These employment declines are far reaching across many sectors of the economy,” noted Coteau. “As the Ford government is implementing a regional re-opening strategy, it is clear from the FAO report that the government also needs to go farther and develop a targeted regional strategy for the economic recovery, so no corner of our province is left behind,” Coteau stated.
Throughout the summer and into the fall, businesses will gradually reopen and re-hire, however the timing and pace will vary throughout each region of the province. “Employers across the province need liquidity, stability and assurances that they will be supported through the difficult recovery ahead,” declared Hunter. “Tax deferrals don’t go far enough as SMEs struggle to hold on to their businesses. I am calling for the Ford government to implement a multi-year financing pay-back program for small and medium businesses to repay deferred taxes, with an option of forgiveness,” stated Hunter.
“With these dire employment numbers persisting throughout the province, I continue to call on the Minister of Finance to release an economic and fiscal update by July 15. Ontario needs to have a clear picture of its economic outlook to properly plan for a full recovery,” Hunter concluded.