CAW's Lewenza Demands Baird Set the Record Straight on the Union's Stance on Afghanistan
November 19, 2010, 4:32 PM EST
CAW President Ken Lewenza sent a letter to Government House Leader John Baird today calling for a public apology regarding misleading comments Baird made regarding the CAW's position on Canada's mission in Afghanistan.
Here is the complete text of the letter Lewenza sent today:
Dear Minister Baird,
I am writing you about your comments in the House of Commons on November 18, 2010, in answer to a question by NDP Leader, Jack Layton.
Layton's question to you was concerning the government's decision to extend Canada's mission in Afghanistan.
You responded and I quote:
"Mr. Speaker, we have an obligation to stand up and do what is right for Canada. It was not just the government that came to this conclusion on this position. Others are stepping forward to support this as well. Why does the leader of the NDP not listen to Ken Lewenza, the national president of the Canadian Auto Workers? Why does he not listen to Paul Moist, the national president of CUPE, who wrote a letter to the Prime Minister saying, "We support your position on this matter".
The letter that your comments refer to concerns the government's decision not to expand landing rights in Canada to UAE airlines beyond the current landing rights that exist today.
Our position in this letter to the Prime Minister was crystal clear. You misled the House of Commons into believing that our support was, instead, for the mission in Afghanistan. This could not be further from the truth. Our position is that the
mission should end and our troops should come home. I have attached our original letter signed by Paul Moist, National President of CUPE and Dave Ritchie, General Vice-President of IAMAW and myself.
A public apology is in order and we ask that you correct the record as quickly as possible.
CUPE President Paul Moist, IAMAW Vice-President Dave Ritchie and Lewenza sent a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper on November 2 supporting the government's decision opposing an increase in air service between the UAE and Canada.
To read the entire November 2 letter, please go to: http://www.caw.ca/en/9644.htm