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Mill worker hopeful about job retraining

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

Age: 53

Job: Mill worker, Acorn Forest Products, Delta, B.C.

Annual household income: $50,000-$100,000

Drives: 1998 GMC minivan

Last vacation: Road trip, Okanagan Valley

What's the best aspect of this budget?

"The retraining, if that's implemented. ... The forestry industry is evolving, and there are young people who are out of work and they will have to be retrained for another job. The Conservatives and Liberals have always promised this, but will they deliver? And how will they do it, and how fast? Because if it's done two years from now, people will be declaring bankruptcy. It'll be too late. We need immediate action, not something that's down the road."

Do you think anything is missing?

"I was looking for changes to EI. ... There's no changes to the waiting period or the benefit level. It's not really much to help too many people."

Over all, are you happy or disappointed?

"I would be pleased if there is immediate action on some of the things they talked about. I'm not pleased they didn't go with EI reform. But the rest, if they do implement it immediately, I would be somewhat pleased. It depends on how they do it - will it all wind up with some advertising firm in Quebec? If they spend a year marketing what they're doing, before actually doing it, that won't help."

What's the likely impact on you?

"Tax cuts are good if you have a full wage. If you work with a 12-week layoff, like I did last year, the tax cuts aren't really going to do you much good."

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