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Harper to Ontario auto workers: Let them eat cake (or move to Alberta)

Real nice compassionate fuzzy warm response Harper gives to Ontario auto workers, as Jeff mentions over at his blogpost:

“I think you have to be honest with people. The government can’t go in and say ‘we can guarantee your job.’ We can’t guarantee your job,” Harper said…”But in most areas, people have been able to get other jobs and in most areas, disposable incomes continue to increase. So it isn’t just that they’re getting new jobs. They’re often getting new jobs that pay just as well or better,” he said.

As both Jeff and Kevin over at Pogge have said at their sites, I don’t think auto workers in Ontario want job guarantees, but they do want a federal government who will assist them in finding that new job if they lose it, or else give some direction. However, Harper has given them the “let them eat cake” answer.. or maybe it’s the “Move to Alberta and work in the oilpatch” answer. Regardless, he comes across as very insensitive and indifferent to the Ontario manufacturing sector once again.

Ontario Premier Dalton Mcguinty came out with a statement basically giving the advice to Ontarions that they should vote for the party who they feel will best treat Ontario fairly and take their concerns seriously. If Ontarions need any further examples of how this Conservative party and their leader isn’t the party who will do that (remember Finance Minister Flaherty disparaging his own province and saying there was no reason for any companies to invest there) , then this statement by Harper would be further evidence of that disregard for Ontario.

UPDATE @ 4:52 pm: Wow. If this is true, Harper actually told this union leader of the struggling forest industry that not only would there would be no bailout and that they should let the market determine if they keep their jobs, he suggested that they could always move to Ft. McMurray and get jobs there:

..the National President of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, Dave Coles told Newfoundland and Labrador’s VOCM radio today that Prime Minister Harper personally told him that there would be no package to support the newsprint industry. The union leader said Prime Minister Harper told him in a private meeting that anyone who loses their jobs can move to Fort McMurray, Alberta. “Forest industry workers should just let the market decide, and if you lose your job, and he (Harper) said this to me personally, you could always go to Fort McMurray. And I think that’s insulting for forestry workers and pulp and paper workers.

I thought Harper was supposed to be the Prime Minister of Canada, not the Premier of Alberta.. or the Premier of Alberta’s official business and trade representative in Ottawa telling people to go to Alberta to look for work, because that’s what he sure sounds like right now. A Real sensitive and fuzzy-warmy guy that Harper. 🙄

UPDATE 2 @ 12:20 am: Some more reaction across the progressive blogosphere to Harper’s shrug-off to those who aren’t living in Alberta.


Events in Ontario will lead to Conservatives losing seats.

What events, the readers may ask? Well, specific events such as this in Welland for example:

Plant closure costs Welland 800 jobs

Ontario’s reeling manufacturing sector took another big hit yesterday as farm equipment giant Deere & Co. revealed the closing of its major plant in Welland and the elimination of about 800 jobs.

Some more general events:

Ontario’s opposition parties claim the province has lost more than 200,000 manufacturing jobs in the last four years. Union and company critics blasted the federal government again for ignoring the plight of the sector, which is a key engine of the Canadian economy.

I also think Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s words will […]

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