Will Adrian Dix support B.C. jobs and remind federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair of the important role natural resources play in job creation and economic growth in British Columbia? This question needs to be answered today, as Mr. Mulcair visits B.C.’s capital for the first time since being elected leader of the federal NDP.
“Thomas Mulcair’s recent controversial remarks about our natural resource industries raised eyebrows here in B.C. and across Western Canada. With manufacturing jobs climbing, it’s clear Mr. Mulcair really does not understand British Columbia’s economy,” said Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Minister Pat Bell. “To date Adrian Dix and the BC NDP have not said if they support Mr. Mulcair’s comments that threaten B.C.’s success.”
In May, Mr. Mulcair stated “the Dutch disease is setting in Canada. The Canadian dollar is artificially high because we are allowing the companies – especially in the oilsands – to use the air, the soil and water as an unlimited free dumping ground.” As a result of the success of natural resource exports and a strong Canadian dollar, Mr. Mulcair concludes these factors have “hollowed out the manufacturing sector.”
Mr. Mulcair’s remarks on manufacturing jobs run contrary to what is actually happening in British Columbia, according to the most recent employment figures released last Friday by Statistics Canada.
The federal agency reports that in the past 12 months, B.C. has added 34,700 manufacturing jobs – a near 22 per cent increase and by far the highest rate of growth of all Canadian provinces. Nationally, jobs in manufacturing have risen by three per cent.
“B.C.’s economic future depends largely on our ability to export our goods and services across the Pacific Ocean, to markets in Asia. I hope that while he is visiting B.C., Adrian Dix will use this opportunity to stand with B.C. and remind Mr. Mulcair that our province relies on a strong natural resource sector that creates jobs – including in manufacturing – for hundreds of thousands of British Columbians,” added Bell.