Statement made on 05 April 2012 by Senator Terry Mercer
Hon. Terry M. Mercer:
According to Statistics Canada, when we compare job numbers from February of this year to June of 2008, we find that in Nova Scotia alone more than 4,900 more people are unemployed; indeed, the numbers this morning show that the numbers are going up again. Since July 2008, the local unemployment rate has risen. I have not had a chance to check this morning's numbers, but I understand they have gone up from 6.9 to 8.2 over the period I quoted.
Yet, in the recent budget — and Senator Duffy should be paying close attention to this — the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency was cut by almost $17.9 million per year. That is 21 per cent of ACOA's $84.6 million operating budget.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans was cut by $79.3 million per year and Marine Atlantic was cut by $10.9 million per year. These are all important departments in Atlantic Canada; this is again an abandonment of Atlantic Canada by the Harper government.
For a government that claims to be creating jobs, it seems to me it is doing the complete opposite. Why would this government be cutting budgets in areas that are already suffering from heavy job losses?
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