VICTORIA – Budget 2019 focuses on measures that will benefit thousands of working families, create opportunities for new and under-employed workers to access good, green jobs and strengthen employment standards.
“When you start to add up the increased infrastructure funding ($20 billion), the jobs created through retrofits of public buildings ($40 million) and private homes ($41 million), there is funding in this budget for a lot of good, green jobs being created,” said Laird Cronk, President of the BC Federation of Labour. “An initiative near and dear to my heart is the addition of $6 million from CleanBC to support training programs for automotive technicians and electricians in the zero emission vehicle sector”.
Budget 2019 also strengthened protections for vulnerable workers with an increase in Employment Standards funding of $14 million over three years to facilitate the removal of the self-help kit, double staff to conduct investigations and create a registry as introduced in the Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act.
“Workers fought long and hard for the rights entrenched in the Employment Standards Act. For more than 16 years, those rights faced daily attacks with the underfunding of the Employment Standards Branch,” said Cronk. “Budget 2019 takes an important step forward in providing the Employment Standards Officers with the resources to proactively investigate violations and enforce workers’ rights.”
“Safe and secure employment is life changing. We were proud to see commitments in Budget 2019 that help to meaningfully expand employment opportunities for some of the most vulnerable workers,” said Cronk.
Budget 2019 commits increased funding to WorkBC, makes post secondary education more affordable by eliminating interest on BC student loans and expands opportunities for adult learners.