Ottawa, ON – Pierre Poilievre, Conservative Shadow Minister for Finance, and Peter Kent, Conservative Shadow Minister for Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, released the following statement regarding Canada’s job numbers and unemployment rate:

“Canada lost 63,000 jobs in December. These disappointing figures remind us that we need a plan coming out of COVID-19 to create jobs, get our economy back on track, and allow people to earn paycheques. We cannot permanently put our economy on the national credit card.

“Only paycheques will provide Canadians with personal financial security. Paycheques afford families good childcare, housing, post-secondary schooling, nutrition and recreation. Paycheques produce tax revenue, reduce government debt burden and protect our cherished social safety net.

“The Canadian economy needs real jobs, in every industry, with real products and services, which real customers buy.

“To allow them wages in the first place, we must speed up approval for job-creating projects, large and small. The OECD ranks Canada 34th out of 35 OECD countries in the amount of time it takes to obtain a permit for a new general construction project. All three levels of government should commit to offer the world’s fastest permits to build factories, shopping centres, business parks, mines and more. Canada should be the fastest country in the world to obtain a permit to build new projects.

“The federal government could fast-track decisions on the $14 billion LNG gas project in the Saguenay region of Quebec, on top of another $6 billion in similar projects awaiting sign-off across Canada. Approving the now-shelved $20 billion Teck Frontier Mine would allow Teck Resources — which threw up its hands after years of federal delays — to either restart the project or sell the permit to another company. These projects, and others like it, will lead to bigger paycheques for Canadian workers.

“Removing regulatory and tax penalties that block First Nations communities from building enterprises and developing resources would unleash the potential of our youngest demographic of workers.

“Canada’s Conservatives, under the leadership of Erin O’Toole, are ready with a plan to unleash our economy, to create real jobs, across all industries, that will bring Canadians across the country bigger paycheques.”