5,000 manufacturing job losses; NDP wants procurement bill passed

Manufacturing job losses have reached 5,000, causing the NDP to renew its calls for the government to cooperate in passing a new procurement bill.

Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey showed Friday that 5,000 Saskatchewan manufacturing jobs have been lost over the last 12 months. Trent Wotherspoon, NDP deputy leader, tabled the Fairness for Saskatchewan Businesses Act in the fall – a new procurement policy that would help more Crown and government contracts go to Saskatchewan companies when they can offer the greatest value for taxpayers.

“Too often, even though a Saskatchewan company could do it better and more cost-effectively, we see trucks roll in from Quebec, Texas, Alberta or California while similar Saskatchewan companies are in layoff mode,” said Wotherspoon. “This is happening because the government isn’t taking things like delivery, warranty, product history and local economic benefit into account when it’s giving out those big contracts.

“If going outside Saskatchewan costs more overall, or if the product has a terrible history like the failed American smart meters, we should absolutely look to Saskatchewan suppliers and manufacturers. This would ensure better value and more local benefit – including jobs.”

Wotherspoon said the manufacturing industry is important to the province’s long-term stability, and changing the procurement policy now will not only mean thousands of jobs today – but a more sustainable economy for the long term.

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For more information, contact:
Erin Morrison, NDP caucus