Facing the Reality of London's Employment Challenges

Mr. Speaker, London is my community. Despite suggestions from a member opposite to the contrary, I am proud of my city and I am especially proud of the people of London for their show of resiliency, determination and optimism when faced with some very difficult challenges. However, pride in one's city does not mean that we can ignore reality.

My city has been hit hard by the economic downturn. Jobs have been lost. In southwestern Ontario, 10,000 jobs have been lost in the last five years, most in the manufacturing sector. Families are hurting and we cannot sugar-coat the issues faced by so many in my riding. London has an unemployment rate of 9.1%. There is a proposal to open a satellite welfare office in the east end. We need a federal government focused on job creation, not tax cuts; jobs in energy conservation, transit, alternative energy and green manufacturing. The people of London matter and deserve no less.