TORONTO, April 27 /CNW/ - CAW President Ken Lewenza applauded the Toronto
Transit Commission's decision earlier today to award a $1.2 billion rail
transit contract to Canadian manufacturer Bombardier - a move Lewenza expects
will translate into hundreds of new jobs at the company's Thunder Bay rail car
facility and many more in supplier and spin-off industries.
"It's encouraging to know that public money is being used to maximize
economic benefit for Canadians at home, not just in Thunder Bay but across the
province and country," said Lewenza.
Lewenza recognized the leadership of Toronto's Mayor David Miller and the
Toronto Transit Commission for requiring all candidates to satisfy a minimum
25 per cent Canadian-content threshold as a condition of winning the contract,
especially as the Canadian manufacturing sector continues to shed hundreds of
thousands of jobs. The union, along with other labour groups, is calling on
all Canadian municipalities to adopt a 50 per cent domestic-content
requirement for transit vehicles.
Toronto was the first municipality to adopt a 25 per cent
Canadian-content requirement for the purchase of transit vehicles and this
move was quickly replicated by the province of Ontario. Lewenza said that the
success of this project is a testament to the union's national Made in Canada
Matters campaign and further proof the Canadian-content threshold should be
pushed up to 50 per cent and is urging the Toronto Transit Commission and the
province of Ontario to do so.
"This is just another good example of how Canadian-content policies for
publicly funded purchases can help stimulate and grow our economy," Lewenza
said. "We need to effectively raise the bar on Canadian-content levels, for
all levels of government, to ensure the billions of dollars in public funds
spent each year are creating jobs and building communities here in Canada."
Bombardier was given the nod ahead of the only other bidder, German
manufacturer Siemens AG, to provide the City with new Low Floor Light Rail
The total contract may total $3 billion should the full order of rail
cars (approximately 600) proceed as planned under Toronto's Transit City
program, making this one of the largest municipal transit contracts ever
awarded in North America.
The first phase of the contract requires Bombardier to build 204 LRVs to
help replace the city's aging fleet of street cars, but will only proceed on
condition of funds being delivered from the Ontario and federal governments.
Both governments are expected to pony up two-thirds of the cost for the
project, which must be delivered on our before June 27.
"The fate of this project rests with the provincial and federal
government, and it's important that they deliver," said CAW Local 1075
President Paul Pugh, who represents over 500 workers at the Bombardier Thunder
"We'll be monitoring the situation very closely in the coming weeks and
months," Pugh said.
For further information:
For further information: contact CAW Communications: Angelo DiCaro,
(416) 606-6311 or John McClyment, (416) 315-3202