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Bad economy hits hard in London

Ivana Pelisek | Interrobang | News | March 16th, 2009

As jobs become more and scarce all over the country, those collecting Employment Insurance in London rose by 75 per cent in December 2008 compared to data collected in December 2007, according to statistics Canada.

“It is deeply disturbing that many of my fellow Londoners and their families have been hit,” said Miriam Rycroft, Member's Assistant of Irene Mathyssen MP of London-Fanshawe. “Currently 14,000 people have lost their jobs in the last few months...and that is devastating to the families in our community.”

Rycroft added that tax breaks will not stimulate the economy nor will they mean more jobs for Londoners.

According to the 2008 Ontario Report Card on Child and Family Poverty, more people are increasingly becoming more dependent on food banks to provide for their families in this time of need.

Employment Insurance (EI) availability needs to be made more readily accessible, stated Rycroft. Adding, in doing so our economy will prosper and head in the right direction.

Economists also predict that by having EI become more accessible, will in turn allow families to find new careers by not falling into the poverty bracket in their future and the future of our country.

Since 2002, the Ontario report determined the loss of 235,000 job losses in the manufacturing sector.

According to Mike Tucker, a Professor at Fanshawe College from the School of Business and Management department, there are alternative measures people can take while the economy is not strong.

“School is a great place to be in the presence of economic instability,” Tucker said. “While in college, students are learning and honing relevant and differentiating skills that will make them appealing to prospective employers as limited opportunities arise. Our economy is becoming more globalized and prone to consistent technological change. Employers are going to require labour that is able to keep up with the increasing demands of technological change.”

Rycroft suggests the best way to re-invest in our economy in the present and for the future would be to create jobs and invest in the new energy economy. Both long-term and short-term job creation should happen throughout Canada, and the environment is a key player in what needs to be happening.

“We need to expand wind farms, improve public transit, build hybrid cars, increase incentives for research and energy development and invest in energy retrofit homes and businesses.”

Statistics: The 2008 Ontario report card on Child and family Poverty

- Almost one in nine children and youth live in poverty

- The average low income family is $7,100 / year below the poverty line

- Forty-five per cent of low income children live in families where only one parent works (on a yearly term)

- At present, poverty rates for aboriginal, racial zed, new immigrants and children of single mothers is almost doubled
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