“When my father came to Canada almost 50 years ago, he chose Hamilton because of the many opportunities for high paying manufacturing jobs. Unfortunately, Hamilton’s fortunes have changed for the worse in the years following, and at the expense of the labourer.”
While unemployment may be low, wages have not increased to account for the rising costs of living. We are seeing greater income inequality and more precarious employment. Hamilton needs a bold plan to create jobs for the 21st century. Government must embrace the cleantech and low carbon economy to create the next generation of high paying middle-class jobs – just as so many industrialized countries, states, and provinces are already doing. Already in Canada, more people work in renewable energy than in the oil sands. In fact, 274,000 Canadians have cleantech jobs with an average salary of $92,000 per year.
Cleantech innovation and manufacturing in energy projects, construction and trades are currently worth $3 trillion and is expected to double in the next decade. These technologies are changing the world — and providing hundreds of thousands of skilled and professional jobs. Canada needs to get in on the action before it is too late. We need a national building retrofit program, to reduce energy waste simultaneously cutting costs while reducing emissions. We need a national electric and autonomous vehicle strategy leveraging both our strong research in AI and our highly skilled automotive workforce. The time has come to shift subsidies from sunset industries and invest in Canadian cleantech innovation. We must provide incentives to manufacturers that retrain rather than let go of employees and support transition into these new markets