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NB budget invests in young workers and economy

January 30, 2018

FREDERICTON - Unifor gives a positive grade to the New Brunswick budget that includes strategic investments in health care, seniors, jobs for young workers, and the economy, rather than punishing austerity measures seen elsewhere in Atlantic Canada.

“Budgets are about choices. For Unifor we are pleased to see some of the choices made today including additional attention to jobs and paid internships for young workers. Retention of young people is so important to a healthy economic future for the province,” said Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director in response to today’s budget.

New Brunswick’s working age population has shrunk over the last decade, and a $73 million investment to try and reverse this trend is welcomed news says Unifor.

“Job creation must be the government’s number one priority which is why calls from some corners to cut jobs and services in order to balance the books faster make little economic sense,” said Payne.

Unifor Economist Jordan Brennan said a strategy focused on population and economic growth is a wise course of action. “In the context of historically weak economic growth, a shrinking work force and historically low interest rates, it is nonsensical to make a balanced budget the top fiscal priority. Investments will do more to boost growth, retain young families and encourage business investment, rather than rushing to balance the books,” said Brennen.

Unifor also expressed support for the province’s investments to try to diversify and reduce N.B.’s dependency on U.S. exports, given the uncertainty created by the Trump administration.

Unifor represents 7,200 workers in the province of New Brunswick and is the province’s largest private sector union with members in forestry, manufacturing, telecom, hospitality and the university sectors. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

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For more information, please contact Unifor Atlantic Communications representative Natalie Clancy at Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org or (902) 478-9283 (cell).