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Housing, wildfires, economy: Federal leaders’ promises on day 4 of election campaign – CityNews Toronto



VANCOUVER — Housing, the climate, tackling wildfires, and Canada’s economy were among the topics federal leaders focused on on day four of the election campaign.

Speaking in Burnaby, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh met with a young couple to talk about affordability and housing before speaking with the media.

“This is Justin Trudeau’s housing crisis,” Singh said, joined by, Jim Hanson, the NDP’s candidate for Burnaby North-Seymour.

“We’ve got a chart here that lays out how the price of housing has increased over the past number of years, and the reality is over the past six years, things have just gotten so much worse. People cannot find a home that’s in their budget.”

Saying many young people are putting their lives on hold because they can’t afford a place to live, Singh once again put the blame on Trudeau, adding he “let this happen.”

“We know one of the big causes is there’s a lot of big money in housing,” he told reporters, adding the NDP promises to “take big money out of housing so that it’s not people competing with large and wealthy corporations, but it’s people actually trying to get a home that’s in their budget.”

Singh also vowed to build half a million more affordable homes and promised to go after foreign buyers, saying a 20 per cent levy should be slapped on any home sale if the buyer isn’t a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

The Liberal leader was also in B.C. Wednesday, speaking from Vancouver.

Trudeau’s campaign stop was focused on a subject that has been top of mind for British Columbians and many other Canadians of late: wildfires and rising temperatures.

“Everyone knows I’m a son of Quebec but I’m also a proud son and grandson of British Columbia,” Trudeau said, trying to appeal to B.C. voters.

“I know this has been a really tough time for people across the province,” he explained, noting record temperatures, ongoing wildfires, and the devastation that’s ensued — including the destruction of the entire village of Lytton.

The Liberal leader says this season has and continues to show more resources are needed to fight wildfires and keep communities safe. If re-elected, Trudeau says the Liberal Party promises to invest $500 million ahead of the next season for firefighters and equipment.

“To begin with, we’ll train at least 1,000 more firefighters in communities across the country who will be able to mobilize right away when major burn starts,” he said.

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Trudeau is also promising to invest hundreds of millions of dollars so provinces can buy the equipment they need, such as water bombers, so they don’t have to rely on other jurisdictions.

Meanwhile, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole took aim at the Liberals and NDP on Wednesday, the same day Statistics Canada released its inflation numbers for July.

O’Toole is blaming his political opponents for the decade-high pace of price growth that was reported, with the inflation rate in July hitting 3.7 per cent, the highest year-over-year increase since May 2011.

The Tory leader said the Liberal government’s approach to the economy is fuelling the increase and is pinning the elevated reading on Trudeau and Singh.

If elected, O’Toole said he would take actions to curb inflation.

“Canada’s recovery plan addresses that. We get the country working, we get the economy growing, we address the overspending by Mr. Trudeau, and we help direct families — we give a $1 raise for working families,” he said from Quebec City.

He said Canadians have a right to be concerned about skyrocketing prices.

“The highest inflation numbers in two decades should worry Canadians. Mr. Trudeau’s spending, Mr. Trudeau’s economic approach is leading to inflation.

People are not being able to afford groceries, gas. We’re already in a housing crisis, for seniors on fixed income, for families at the margins.”

O’Toole also promoted his plan to toughen up the country’s ethics laws.

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Province Invests in Wellington County Businesses to Boost Local Economy – Government of Ontario News



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Province Invests in Wellington County Businesses to Boost Local Economy  Government of Ontario News

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Powell meets a changed economy: Fewer workers, higher prices – 95.7 News



WASHINGTON (AP) — Restaurant and hotel owners struggling to fill jobs. Supply-chain delays forcing up prices for small businesses. Unemployed Americans unable to find work even with job openings at a record high.

Those and other disruptions to the U.S. economy — consequences of the viral pandemic that erupted 18 months ago — appear likely to endure, a group of business owners and nonprofit executives told Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Friday.

The business challenges, described during a “Fed Listens” virtual roundtable, underscore the ways that the COVID-19 outbreak and its delta variant are continuing to transform the U.S. economy. Some participants in the event said their business plans were still evolving. Others complained of sluggish sales and fluctuating fortunes after the pandemic eased this summer and then intensified in the past two months.

“We are really living in unique times,” Powell said at the end of the discussion. “I’ve never seen these kinds of supply-chain issues, never seen an economy that combines drastic labor shortages with lots of unemployed people. … So, it’s a very fast changing economy. It’s going to be quite different from the one (before).”

The Fed chair asked Cheetie Kumar, a restaurant owner in Raleigh, North Carolina, why she has had such trouble finding workers. Powell’s question goes to the heart of the Fed’s mandate of maximizing employment, because many people who were working before the pandemic lost jobs and are no longer looking for one. When — or whether — these people resume their job hunts will help determine when the Fed can conclude that the economy has achieved maximum employment.

Kumar told Powell that many of her former employees have decided to permanently leave the restaurant industry.

“I think a lot of people wanted to make life changes, and we lost a lot of people to different industries,” she said. “I think half of our folks decided to go back to school.”

Kumar said her restaurant now pays a minimum of $18 an hour, and she added that higher wages are likely a long-term change for the restaurant industry.

“We cannot get by and pay people $13 an hour and expect them to stay with us for years and years,” Kumar said. “It’s just not going to happen.”

Loren Nalewanski, a vice president at Marriott Select Brands, said his company is losing housekeepers to other jobs that have recently raised pay. Even the recent cutoff of a $300-a-week federal unemployment supplement, he said, hasn’t led to an increase in job applicants.

“People have left the industry and unfortunately they’re finding other things to do,” Nalewanski said. “Other industries that didn’t pay as much perhaps … are (now) paying a lot more.”

Christopher Rugaber, The Associated Press

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Dialogue NB Seeks To Rebuild An Inclusive Economy Through Conversation – Huddle – Huddle Today



MONCTON – Dialogue NB CEO Nadine Duguay-Lemay says the business community has an integral place in a conversation about building a more equal and just New Brunswick.

That very conversation will take place on September 27 in Moncton with Dialogue Day 2021.

“When we talk about anti-racism, notions of equality, diversity, acceptance and inclusion and all those notions we celebrate, it’s not something we can do on our own,” said Duguay-Lemay.

“The business community actively needs to participate, if anything, because those topics concern them. That’s why you see so many business support the event.”

The volunteer-led non-profit organization plans to host an inclusive conversation on Monday at Moncton’s Crowne Plaza and virtually, online.

Dedicated to building social cohesion in New Brunswick, the sold-out event will feature discussions about racial justice in the workplace, rethinking the economy as it recovers from the pandemic and how to be a better ally to Indigenous people.

The event, which has sold out of in-person seats, will feature Jeremy Dutcher, a Wolastoq singer, songwriter, composer, musicologist and activist from Tobique First Nation, as its keynote speaker.

The mandate of the discussions is to ensure everyone feels heard, valued and that they belong, making diversity an asset – something Duguay-Lemay considers imperative to a functional economy.

“What I’ve found is that people don’t like to go into uncomfortable discussions. Some people want to embrace social cohesion but don’t know where to start, or are afraid of saying the wrong thing. This is our expertise – we’re good at the art of dialogue and multiple viewpoints at one table,” she said.

“We need a lot of different voices and perspectives at the table to rethink the system for the wellbeing of all. These discussions shouldn’t be happening in isolation.”

Duguay-Lemay said New Brunswick faces many economic challenges, noting a diverse workforce will help recover from those challenges.

She stressed that the business community needs to work toward a goal of truth and reconciliation, and in a call with Huddle, rebutted the metaphor of everyone being on the same boat during the pandemic.

“I’d argue we’re all facing the same storm, but not in the same boat. Some people are in yachts and some are in little boats about to capsize,” she said.

Other voices are emerging – female and Indigenous, for example – looking to address poverty and wage inequality and unfairness, employment access, systemic racism and environmental degradation, noted Duguay-Lemay, adding that the province’s 4,418 non-profits need more recognition as an economic partner.

“Inclusion is embedded in our DNA as Canadians. We’re already a country and province that abides by those laws, so it’s important to look at inclusion,” she said.

The conversations will also focus on racial justice in the workplace, how the pandemic hurt Indigenous and black Canadian employment, versus non-minorities, access to employment – and the social barriers that exist for racialized workers.

“I invite all organizations, employers, public and non-profits to look at their practices in place and ask if they walk the talk for truth and reconciliation. We’re all treaty people – how do we uphold this?” said Duguay-Lemay.

“We want to at least demonstrate to Indigenous people in New Brunswick that we hear their plight and are serious about truth and reconciliation.”

Greater social cohesion is the best step forward, Duguay-Lemay noted, adding that real dialogue can build an economy that works for everyone.

She said matters of racial justice in the workplace – and specific matters, such as owners objecting to the declaration of September 30 as a statutory holiday, contending that they can’t afford it – will be among the economic issues for which solutions will be sought.

The conversation will also focus on how the province’s recovery from the pandemic has exposed inequalities in the economy.

Duguay-Lemay stressed the need to learn from the way the pandemic exposed inequalities, and rethink a system that works for everyone.

“We need to think differently and it really shouldn’t be based on the interests of the privileged,” said Duguay-Lemay.

“As employers are looking to attract and retain talent, we hear about skill shortages all the time. This becomes a matter of attracting talent, whether from newcomers or tapping into Indigenous communities, how can we make our workplaces more equitable and inclusive?

The event will feature an “eclectic” round table of specialists, artists, activists and experts from numerous sectors, and identities in New Brunswick, with opportunities for networking, inspiration for change with concrete examples and skills to help become a social leader.

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