(Charlottetown – November 1, 2012) NDP Leader Mike Redmond is blaming increased food bank use on failed Liberal job creation efforts.

“We’ve heard quite a bit from the Liberal government on prosperity, innovation, and job creation, but all we see is more and more people struggling to get by and relying on the food bank to survive” said Redmond. The just released HungerCount 2012 report on food bank use places Prince Edward Island second only to Manitoba in year-to-year increased use of food banks.

“I’ve seen and heard first hand the struggles of many Island families over the last little while but I was still shocked to read that food bank usage rate jumped by 10% in one year” the NDP Leader stated.  The report indicates that the total number of PEI users for March 2011 was 3,095 and 3,406 in March 2012.

“Thankfully, efforts such as the Y’s Men’s Food Drive provide greatly needed help to people, but this is not a permanent solution for poverty and unemployment” Redmond argued. The recent annual Y’s Men’s Food Drive resulted in 40 pallets of food being collected by over 300 volunteers from the general public.

“It is time for Liberal politicians like Richard Brown to get to work on some real solutions” Redmond continued. “It’s one thing to attach your name to an important charitable effort, but an elected politician in his position should be affecting policy that puts people to work at good paying jobs.”

Richard Brown MLA Charlottetown-Victoria Park served as chair of the Y’s Men’s Food Drive in 2012. Brown held the positions of Minister of Innovation and Advanced Learning and Minister of Environment, Energy and Forestry in the first term of the Robert Ghiz Liberal government.

“Richard Brown did not get around to helping people with job creation when he had the chance to do so, but that does not mean he should do nothing while he is still an elected representative” the Charlottetown-born Redmond indicated.

Statistics Canada reports that for September 2012 the number of jobs in Prince Edward Island was 72,000, down from 73,600 in July.

“The NDP will produce a full policy platform, including effective job creation policies and strategic investments in people, well in advance of the next election” concluded the NDP Leader.