Kijiji Kenney’s ignorance explained

Cabinet Minister Jason Kenney said none of us know exactly what is going on in the labour market of today…”  (“Tories defend use of Kijiji data in face of opposition ridicule” – Globe and Mail, March 26, 2014)

You might think this is a profoundly embarrassing admission from the guy responsible for planning Canada’s employment strategy. You might think it simply isn’t possible for a cabinet minister responsible for the labour market to be out of the loop on the labour market. But you’d be wrong.

You see, since 2006, Stephen Harper has been steadily eroding viable information sources. He ceased funding industry sector councils that researched and reported labour market trends. He has cancelled industry surveys conducted by Statistics Canada.  In 2010 he cancelled the mandatory long form census whose data helped governments and communities plan services.  Thanks to Harper, Canadians now face an enormous data gap.

Kenney ‘not knowing’ is the direct result of Harper’s campaign to end reliable information sources.

Simply put, previous governments were informed because they funded independent research. The Harper government is uninformed because it has gutted research.

The icing on the cake is Harper/Kenney clawing back millions from the provinces to fund their Job Grant corporate welfare handout plan, in which the ignorant government conspires with self-interested corporations to use tax dollars for whatever the hell they want. By the time this boondoggle in the making is over, we’ll no doubt find the funds were used to “train” foreign workers. Or to offset the fee employers now pay to bring them in.  The Job Grant will be just one more corporate subsidy, ripe for abuse.

After all, Jason Kenney himself said he would minimize red tape so as not to impede corporations using the funds as they see fit.

On a related note:

Canadian income data ‘is garbage’ without census, experts say

Average family income in Tory budget called ‘make believe’
20 per cent increase in fantasy middle-class family income makes complete fiction, say critics