Throne Speech Goes in Opposite Direction from Protecting Canadian
Communities: Steelworkers

TORONTO, March 3 /CNW/ - "Protecting Canadian communities should be the first order of business of our federal government. However, in the Throne Speech, Mr. Harper has indicated he is going to further abdicate his responsibility to ensure communities are the net beneficiaries of foreign ownership," says Ken Neumann, United Steelworkers National Director for Canada.

The federal government's Throne Speech has emphasized that the government intends on opening the door to foreign investment: "Our government will open Canada's doors further to venture capital and to foreign investment in key sectors."

"It is outrageous that this government has refused to side with Canadian communities and workers as foreign multinational after foreign multinational buy up Canadian companies and end up devastating our resource communities. Today's statement rather than indicating the government will come to the aid of our communities by putting more teeth in the Investment Canada Act, will actually add insult to the injury communities like Sudbury and Hamilton are experiencing," Neumann says.

Foreign takeovers by companies like Vale Inco and Xstrata have failed to be a "net benefit" to Canada as the law requires. Rather, these takeovers have resulted in thousands of lost jobs, the closing of vital plants and mills, and the transferring of industrial production outside our borders.

Yet, Harper's government has failed to make those companies live up to their lawful requirements, and have even refused to make public the promises made by these companies.

"This is a tragic failure of our federal government at a time when many Canadian workers are looking for leadership in protecting their jobs and their communities," Neumann emphasized.

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information: For further information: Ken Neumann, (416) 544-5950; Bob Gallagher, bgallagher@usw.ca, (416) 544-5966


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