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NEWS RELEASE · 9th September 2011
Today’s Statistics Canada numbers show B.C. is continuing to fall behind in jobs numbers; more evidence that the Liberal government has no plan and no direction, say the New Democrats.

“The Liberal record on jobs and the economy has been poor, but today’s numbers show the situation is getting worse under Christy Clark’s leadership,” said New Democrat finance critic Bruce Ralston. “The premier was sworn in last March, and today we’re learning our employment numbers, already the worst of the Western provinces and behind the national average, have gotten worse.”

Ralston said the unemployment rate for British Columbia increased by 0.2 per cent from July to August to 7.5 per cent, the third highest increase in the country and 0.2 per cent above the national average. From July to August, B.C. lost 12,500 full-time jobs, but only picked up half that amount in part-time jobs.

“The situation is going from bad to worse under the Christy Clark Liberals,” said Ralston.

“It’s often said the first 100 days in office defines a leader. By that measure, the Liberal premier has failed.

“Perhaps the premier should spend less time campaigning and setting up photo ops, and more time governing the province.”

The employment numbers released today also shatter Liberal claims that the HST would create jobs.

From August 2010 (one month after the HST was introduced) to August 2011, B.C. lost 21,800 full-time jobs and gained only 21,500 part-time jobs.

“British Columbia needs a government that has a plan for growing the economy and creating jobs,” said Ralston. “A proper investment in education and skills training will help build the labour force, and a return to 2008 levels of the corporate tax rate would help pay for such an investment by returning at least $400 million to the treasury annually."

Ralston said the Liberals clearly bet everything on the HST, and refuse to tell the truth about the benefits of the PST. Helmut Pastrick, chief economist with Central 1 Credit Union, said yesterday that “Reverting back to the PST/GST system does boost overall growth a little bit in [2013, 2014 and 2015] compared to the HST scenario, mainly because of a pickup in consumer spending and residential construction.”