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TRURO – The president of CUPE Nova Scotia says today’s federal budget doesn’t give a lot of hope for low and middle-income families in our province.

Danny Cavanagh says, “The most important priority for our communities is not balancing the budget, or gimmicky balanced budget legislation, it’s our sluggish economic recovery and the lack of decent-paying, full time jobs.

Cavanagh cites a new poll from Ipsos which shows Canadians put jobs and the economy first.

The poll of 1,005 Canadians found 59 per cent of respondents prefer a budget that invests in jobs, the economy and social programs even if it runs a deficit, while only 41 per cent prefer a balanced budget.

“Nova Scotians need to see much more action on the stalled jobs front, on fixing inadequate employment insurance coverage and the lack of retirement security,” he says.

“People in this province are living the reality of an economic recovery that is not nearly as good as they are being told,” says Cavanagh. “We see way too many young people giving up on finding a job. They see full-time jobs getting replaced with low-paying, part-time jobs.”

Adds Cavanagh, “To compound the matter, many of our young people who went out west to work have now returned home because the oil economy is not doing well. Meanwhile, the multinational oil companies are sitting on billions of dollars and not investing in jobs.

The Canadian labour movement has long maintained that skills training and apprenticeship programs are key components of creating good jobs. Lifelong learning is critical to a high-skills, knowledge economy and is essential for Canada to remain competitive in the global marketplace.

“We need to invest in literacy, not watch literacy organizations close their doors,” says Cavanagh.