Laval, March 22, 2016 — Teamsters are satisfied with the Trudeau
government’s second budget, which continues on the path laid out in
the previous budget. “Workers and the middle class should
benefit from this budget,” commented François Laporte, the President
of Teamsters Canada.
TEAMSTERS CANADA STATEMENT
measures to help Canadians keep their skills up to date are a good first
step in dealing with the challenges posed by automation. However, the
government will need a more aggressive strategy as technological change
is expected to eliminate jobs faster than people can retrain.
Though details are lacking, proposed changes to make the Canada
Labour Code more “flexible” will need to be carefully analyzed.
Teamsters will fight any attempt to go after labour rights and job
In an effort to put Canadians back to work, infrastructure spending
should be expedited wherever possible.
“We recognize that investing billions of dollars quickly and
intelligently is easier said than done,” explained Laporte. “But the
government also needs to recognize that fixing and building the
nation’s infrastructure creates much needed jobs for tens of
thousands of Canadians.”
Teamsters applaud the federal government for investing $5 billion
over 10 years on mental health. The union views mental health in the
workplace as a pressing issue; according to the Mental Health
Commission of Canada, mental illness costs the economy over $51
billion each year.
The $867 million investment in Via Rail is also welcome news, as it
stands to directly benefit travellers and Teamster members employed
at the crown corporation.
A matter of fairness
Teamsters are pleased that the federal government will force
ride-sharing companies like to Uber to register and collect sales
taxes. “We’re glad that the government has started to tackle the
issue of the sharing economy,” added Laporte.
Efforts to crack down on tax evasion are also welcome, as long as
the government has the courage to target big banks and large
accounting firms. According to the Conference Board of Canada, tax
evasion could cost Canadians up to $47.8 billion.
Teamsters urge the government to eliminate the tax credit on stock
options in a future budget. The write-off disproportionately
benefits Canada’s richest CEOs, who already earn over 193 times the
average worker’s salary.
Finally, the union is delighted that the government’s budget
recognizes issues faced by women, indigenous people, and the LGBTQ
“We’ll carefully monitor the implementation of this year’s federal
budget,” concluded Laporte. “Overall, we’re satisfied and hope the
Canadian economy will respond positively in the coming months.”
Teamsters represent 125,000 workers in Canada in all industries. The
International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada
is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.
Stéphane Lacroix, Director of Public