Friday, 4 January 2013

Made-in-Canada, eh!

Dear Readers,

Below, I bring you some hopeful news on the manufacturing front. After losing 300,000 good-paying manufacturing jobs since our Ontario Liberal government took power in 2003, the province was in need of tangible support and today, our Prime Minister provided a little incentive. Below is my response and below that, as usual is space for yours unless you want to email your comment directly.

                                                         Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced the renewal of the Automotive Innovation Fund (AIF), highlighting the strategic importance of the automotive sector to Canada's economy and job market. The Prime Minister was accompanied by Lisa Raitt, Minister of Labour. "Our Government remains focused on creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity and to keeping Canada's automotive manufacturing sector globally competitive and innovative," said Prime Minister Harper. "The Automotive Innovation Fund has a proven track record of generating results for Canadians in terms of jobs, prosperity and foreign investment in Canada."

The AIF provides support for leading-edge innovation in automotive manufacturing and research and development (R&D) to build advanced, greener products and processes. The AIF was first introduced in Budget 2008. To date, investments have leveraged up to $1.6 billion in R&D and innovation investments in Canada's automotive sector, including promoting enhanced R&D capacity, leading-edge engineering and design, and made-in-Canada innovation. Since AIF's inception, the following companies have benefitted from the Fund: Ford Motor Company of Canada, Linamar Corporation, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. and Magna International.

Canada's automotive industry is a key economic driver, contributing 12 percent of the country's manufacturing GDP and 12 percent of total merchandise exports. The industry employs approximately 111,000 Canadians directly and another 338,000 indirectly.

                                                An auto assembly line...the way it used to be!
my response.....

Notwithstanding that the Ontario automotive manufacturing sector is way off from where it was, it is encouraging that Prime Minister Harper hasn't forgotten about us, considering that ill-conceived strikes and work-stoppages have hurt the workers badly in the past so hopefully, better days may be ahead. On December 12, 2012, the Canadian Centre for Policy Studies applauded the passage of bill C-377 law by the House of Commons today calling it an "important victory for workers."

"Requiring unions to disclose how and where they spend members' dues is long overdue," said Joseph C. Ben-Ami, president of the Centre. "This is an important victory for workers."

                                                 Making things that folks want to buy!

"The public interest is also well-served by this bill," Ben-Ami continued. "Workers can still be forced to pay dues to a union in Canada even if they aren't members. That's a power no other non-government entity possesses. Because of this, unions - like politicians - have an added responsibility to the public, in addition to the responsibility they have to their members, to conduct their business with maximum transparency. It's a question of accountability. All-in-all this is a good bill and we look forward to its speedy passage by the Senate."

With Right to Work legislation around the corner, worker's rights will be further enhanced and hopefully this will lead Union Bosses to better respect employees and their employers in the future!


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Made-in-Canada, eh! Harper hasn't forgotten about us!

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