Yesterday in Question Period, Kitchener Liberal MP Karen Redman demanded (updated link):
Mr. Speaker, the crisis in the auto parts industry is getting worse and still the government does nothing. Kitchener Frame announced that it is throwing 1,200 people out of work and this is a huge blow to the Waterloo region
Will the government finally admit that there is a strong role for the federal government? How many good Canadian jobs have to disappear before the government does something about this emergency?
By contrast, the Record points to a variety of factors causing the carnage, including the stubborn stand of the CAW brass which refuses to consider wage cuts (Let's work to save Kitchener Frame):
...Unfortunately, CAW president Buzz Hargrove has fingered the federal government as Kitchener Frame's saviour, as if it wields a magic wand that can set everything right. Hargrove should look to his own organization and the company for salvation. The threats facing Kitchener Frame, as well as other auto parts manufacturers, are mainly beyond the federal government's power to control.
High labour costs, particularly compared to those in similar plants in Mexico, declining demand for the sports utility vehicle frames the company makes, increased transportation costs as well as the high Canadian dollar -- these are the series of body blows that have sent Kitchener Frame reeling. Despite having coffers stuffed with billions of taxpayer dollars, the federal government just isn't rich enough to turn back the global economic and market tides washing over -- and away -- Canadian industry...
Of course, unions shouldn't be blamed exclusively either. It is however, a huge factor contributing to the perfect storm that's tearing the heart out of automobile manufacturing in Ontario.
Karen Redman's simplistic attitude of demanding that more taxpayer money be thrown at an industry which needs to undergo some serious introspection is disingenuous, irresponsible and only serves to pander to the interests of the buddy of her ex-boss.
Even if Corporate Welfare could be used to save some companies the Record points out, "if it does intervene selectively, who gets saved and who is allowed to perish?"
Instead of trying to score points in QP with useless accusations and pointless questions, perhaps Karen Redman could start addressing the concerns of her constituents with suggestions of realistic methods of helping workers adjust to economics changes that are part of the ebb and flow of life - and to which we must all adapt.