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Low impact budget won't do the job

TORONTO, Feb. 11, 2014 /CNW/ - "As every Canadian knows, budgets are about choices," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. "Today the federal government made some good choices, but far too many bad ones."

"The best way to address pocketbook issues is through quality employment - and our government has once again missed the opportunity."

"With more than 390,000 unemployed youth, a small loan fund and a handful of apprenticeships are not going to do the job," said Dias.

"Unifor is concerned that the budget fails to address the thing that's concerning Canadians most - a sluggish economy and dim job prospects," Dias stressed.

Dias also raised concerns about the Canada Jobs Grant diverting funds from the Labour Market Agreements, which pay for crucial programs like retraining and literacy.

Dias welcomed the additional monies for the Automotive Innovation Fund by the federal government, over the next two years. "Around the world, governments are working with industry and labour to support important economic sectors like auto," said Dias. "In order to compete in a global market, it's crucial that our government also plays a role."

Dias also said that in order to grow strong industries and create jobs - sector-based industrial strategies are needed - urgently.

"We've seen the low growth that comes from a directionless economy. Staying the course isn't useful when there seems to be no plan as to where we're going."