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The Conservative government supports the Canadian troops…

… just not the struggling Canadian plants that could be building their equipment for them, rather then an American plant of the same company:

The Canadian Auto Workers is criticizing the federal government for awarding a $254 million contract to a U.S. company to build trucks for the Canadian Forces at its plant in Texas while it is laying off workers at its plant in Chatham. “Somebody has to explain to us why Canadian workers can’t build military trucks for the Canadian military,” said senior CAW executive Bob Chernecki, referring to a defence department contract to Illinois-based Navistar International Corp. to build 1,300 medium-duty trucks for the Canadian Forces.

And the reason why the contract was given to the plant in Texas over ones in Ontario, where layoff notices have been numerous and the plant’s survival at stake? No one in the government seems to have an answer:

Asked yesterday why the contract couldn’t have stipulated the trucks be built in Canada, a spokesperson for Defence Minister Peter MacKay referred the Toronto Star to the public works department.
“Minister MacKay’s role is to outline what equipment and platforms are needed by the Canadian Forces,” the defence department official said in an email. “After identifying the need, Public Works follows a competitive procurement process.” But the public works department referred the question to Industry Canada and, in the end, there appeared to be no answer.

Brilliant. Glad to see the lines of communication open there. Meanwhile, our government is pumping in money to the Texas economy – which I’ve no doubt they’re grateful to us for – while here, in an area which is one of the most economically hard-hit areas of Ontario now due to job losses in the manufacturing sector, a sister plant that could be doing it is instead laying off most of its workforce.

I hope the stimulus package the Conservatives are proposing in their upcoming budget is better thought out this this move, else they deserve to be defeated – regardless of whether it’s election or coalition that happens.

4 comments to The Conservative government supports the Canadian troops…

  • Roll Tide

    This smacks of protectionism. I never went for the -Made in Canada`only..Made in America.. Buy American,…
    -out of a job yet, keep buying foreign-

    The far left and the far right in both countries eat this nonsense up. Lets not go back to the 1930`s era of protectionism.

  • The Rat

    More to the point, pork-barreling contracts hurts the military. Why does it take 10-20 years for the CF to source a helicopter or a ship or frickin’ toilet seats? Because we demand made in Canada content. When military contracts are more about economic benefit than combat effectiveness we get the disgrace that the Canadian Forces were in the 80’s and 90’s. Let’s not blow the progress we’ve made making our military functional again.

  • billg

    Over 75% of what Canada produces is sold to the US…do you guys really want to go down this road? I agree, this doesnt look good, but, I just cant help thinking that economic isolationism ends up hurting Canada alot more then the US.
    The main concern Canadians should have with President Obama is exactly what your proposing….isolationism.

  • janfromthebruce

    No kidding – our tax dollars should go to support Canadian jobs. That’s smart money. Think about it, by keeping our guys meaningfully employed at good wages keeps secondary jobs going, and also Canadians in turn, don’t have to use their money to help those families out through EI or other supplementary govt programs.

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