Thank you speaker:

I rise today to remind Members of this house of the plight of hundreds of hardworking families affected by Goodwill Industries’ decision to close their stores early this year.

Speaker,  on January 18th—without warning—Goodwill Industries closed all 16 of its stores in Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Newmarket, Barrie, Orillia and Brockville, putting hundreds of people out of work.

As the Ontario New Democrat Labour critic, it’s both alarming and disheartening to know that our Liberal government has done nothing to get to the bottom of what led hundreds of Goodwill employees in these communities to be out on the street without warning.

Goodwill Industries received millions in revenue in 2014.

It has received at least $4 million a year from the province.

The CEO, whose decision it was to shut down operations citing a “fiscal crisis”, makes well over $230,000 a year. Meanwhile, the almost-500 affected employees are among the most vulnerable, and those who need our help most. They rely on these stores to stay open every day.

They depend on their government, and all they’ve gotten so far is silence and inaction.

These workers are dedicated, Premier. They’ve worked hard for Goodwill, and the stores have become pillars in their communities. Being thrown out of work without notice is devastating. This Liberal government’s silence and inaction is unacceptable.

I stand today to remind the affected families that New Democrats stand behind them, and I urge all Members of this house to do the same and get our dedicated Goodwill workers back to work.