VICTORIA - In order to make up for lacklustre results for their so-called jobs plan, the Liberal government continues to twist and misuse jobs numbers and blow millions of taxpayers’ dollars on pre-election propaganda, say the New Democrats.
“Job growth has been fairly stagnant since the jobs plan was announced in late September 2011,” said New Democrat finance critic Bruce Ralston. “That must be why the Liberals continue to triple the actual job numbers by saying growth from before they announced their plan is somehow a result of it.
“Media and economists have already verified it’s a misuse of jobs statistics numbers, but that isn’t stopping the Liberals from doing it.”
The Liberal government cited jobs figures Friday, claiming the jobs plan was responsible for 41,800 jobs, but two-thirds of those jobs were created before the jobs plan was even announced.
Ralston said the Liberals have deliberately misused these numbers before, and they have been taken to task several times by the New Democrats, the public, and journalists in B.C. and across Canada.
Ralston said it isn’t surprising that the jobs plan isn’t really creating any new jobs. The main thrust of the plan is a $15 million pre-election ad buy. One of those ads claim B.C. is leading the country in job growth, but that simply isn’t the case.
In October, Gary Lamphier of the Edmonton Journal said “It would be nice if Clark explained where her mystery job creation numbers come from.” He continued, “It was Ontario – not Alberta or B.C. – that actually led the country in employment growth over the latest 12-month period.”
Sun Media's national bureau chief David Akin wrote about the misuse of numbers as well in his October blog post entitled “Do Christy Clark’s boasts on job creation hold up? Nope. Nada. Not even close.”
“The truth is that job growth since the jobs plan was actually announced in late September has been underwhelming, and well behind the Canadian average,” said Ralston. “In fact the Liberals claim their jobs plan will focus on the private sector, but the private sector has actually shed jobs since the plan was announced.”
According to Statistics Canada, British Columbia only saw 13,900 jobs created since the plan was announced, and unemployment growth of 0.5 per cent. During the same time, the province actually lost over 14,000 jobs in the private sector.
“If the Liberals spent more time on rebuilding the apprenticeship programs they dismantled in 2004, and made an investment in skills training, then we would have workers ready for jobs in industries that are set to boom,” said Ralston. “Unfortunately the Liberals are more obsessed with advertising, and as a result, industry delegations are forced to go to Ireland and California to find workers.”
Adrian Dix and the New Democrats believe post-secondary education and skills training are critical to B.C.'s economy, and have a plan to improve access to post-secondary education and trades training by offering $100 million in needs-based, non-repayable student grants.
The New Democrats are committed to change for the better, by modernizing and improving B.C.’s skills training system to offer ladders of opportunity, build a stronger economy and reduce inequality.