Young Workers Blog: A Doug Ford government would hurt young workers

Young Workers Blog: A Doug Ford government would hurt young workersWith the Ontario election just over a month away, young voters across the province are looking at the three main parties to determine which party will help improve our lives. And as the party leaders reveal more details about their visions for Ontario, it’s becoming clear that a PC government – led by Doug Ford – would hurt young workers.

For starters, Doug Ford and the Ontario PCs have said they will scrap the upcoming increase to the minimum wage, which is scheduled to rise to $15 an hour by January 2019. Instead, the Conservatives would leave the minimum wage at its current rate. This would take money directly out of the hands of thousands of young people, as nearly 40 percent of minimum wage earners in Ontario are aged 25 and under.

Second, many young workers rent in Ontario as an affordable alternative to home ownership, especially now that home prices have ballooned out of reach for would-be buyers in various cities. Rent control ensures that any increases to rent are gradual and regulated, and this helps people manage their living costs. But under a PC government, rents would rise higher and faster than we’ve seen in years, since Doug Ford says he wants to do away with rent control and have “the market dictate” prices. 

Third, despite a strong economy, the unemployment rate for Ontarians aged 15 to 24 is 11.2 percent, almost the triple the jobless rate of those aged 25 to 54 (4.4 percent). In other words, young people are struggling to find work in Ontario, even though the economic outlook is getting better. But instead of putting forward a plan to address this problem, Doug Ford and the Ontario PCs are championing policies that economists say will lead to 75,000 job losses

Finally, older millennials and young workers who are trying to start a family in Ontario are in desperate need of affordable child care. But unlike the NDP and Liberals, who have released detailed policies on child care, Doug Ford and the Conservatives have nothing to say about the issue. Neither Ford nor the PC Party have released any official statements or policies outlining the Conservatives’ plans for child care, and the election is just over 30 days away. 

Never mind that Ford’s views on women’s rights, climate change, and equity and diversity are completely out of step with the generally progressive views of most Canadian millennials on these issues. That’s for a whole other blog. As Ford and the PCs have shown on minimum wage, rent control, job creation, and child care, a Doug Ford government would be disastrous for young workers.

To learn more about the type of government we want to vote for in this election, visit UFCW Canada’s 2018 Ontario Election website.