Volume 91, Issue 28

Friday, October 17, 1997

pigskin pummel


Throwing money at unemployment

Re: Liberal job creation

To the Editor:
Well, the unemployment figures are in again and guess what? The unemployment rate is still above nine per cent. This continues the governing Liberal's record on unemployment and what a record it is – the worst string of unemployment numbers in Canada since the Great Depression.

For a party originally elected on the promise of "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs" this fact is particularly embarrassing. But have no fear, the Liberals recently announced a brand spanking new plan! It's a make-work program targeted at Canada's youth. The Liberal "thinking" goes something like this: pick a group particularly hard hit by unemployment (young people), spend $90 million creating a mere 3,000 jobs for approximately 600,000 unemployed youth and then give themselves a collective pat on the back for a job well done.

The program was announced with great enthusiasm with vague references to "partnerships" with business in creating internship programs. The Liberals later had to admit that most of the internships would end up being in government departments.

It's truly ironic that the Liberals, after laying off thousands of full-time public employees, are about to turn around and hire a bunch of young people to push paper around instead. I guess they figure there is some value in training people to fill one of the fastest "growth" industries in Canada.

And what about the cost? $90 million for 3,000 jobs! That works out to approximately $30,000 per job. Those must be some darn good-paying jobs! Or we can face reality and start wondering how much of the money will reach the employee and how much will be lost in a tangled web of bureaucratic red tape.

Let's remember, however, that even the government admitted this was just a "drop in the bucket." I guess what this really means is they'd really like to spend a lot more money, if only the Canadian public would let them. One shouldn't be surprised, though – the Liberal solution has always been to throw money at it instead of dealing with the underlying problem.

Just this last week, the Liberals have started ramming through their proposed 70 per cent CPP premium hike. What they don't want you to realize is this hike boils down to one thing: another tax on jobs. It's pretty strange how the government can on one hand make jobs more expensive to create and on the other hand gleefully give out money for make-work projects while keeping a straight face.

Pablo Frank
V.P. UWO Reform Club

To Contact The Letters Department: gazoped@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997