Ontario Premier Backs CAW's campaign for Fair Trade
Port Elgin, Ontario
April 13, 2007
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The Canadian Auto Workers union has won the support of Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty for their campaign for Fair Trade. Speaking to 800 CAW workplace leaders in Port Elgin, Ontario,
Premier McGuinty said he has already taken the fight to Ottawa.
"I have said to the Prime Minister repeatedly, "any Free Trade agreement with Korea has got to be a two way street. I'm all for free trade so long as it is fair trade. If Korea wants access to our markets, we should have equal access to theirs."
Those words echoed the message CAW national president Buzz Hargrove delivered earlier in the day.
CAW National President
"While the countries that are shipping in are opening plants, hiring young people, great opportunities for their kids, we're closing plants, throwing people out of work and no opportunity for our young people who are graduating from our universities and colleges in one of the most important, dynamic and high paying industries in the world. And I say it is a damn disgrace that we don't do something as a nation, as a government to say to the Japanese, and the South Koreans and the European community, if you want to sell in our market, no problem but by God you better buy from us in equal amounts of vehicles before you are able to do that."
The Premier told the CAW leadership that he rejects the argument that building small cars is the only way to protect the environment.
"Don't tell me that working together here in Ontario we can't produce the next generation of comfortable, clean cars because we can and we will and it will be good for jobs and good for the economy."
Hargrove told the delegates the federal government should follow Ontario's lead and support new technology development in Canada instead of giving environmental tax breaks for cars built in Japan.
CAW National President
"What's wrong with the government of Canada putting in front of Ford Motor Company a major proposal to build fuel-efficient engines in the City of Windsor to replace the engine plant that they are closing? Does that not make more sense than discouraging people from buying the vehicles that we build, put some incentives in there to do some good for the economy and do some good for the environment at the same time and strengthening our auto industry as well."
The CAW Council unanimously endorsed the CAW Manufacturing Matters Campaign to put the crisis in manufacturing in Canada on the national agenda.
CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."