TTC Funding Encouraging News but Feds Must Come on Board, says CAW President



    THUNDER BAY, ON, June 19 /CNW/ - City of Toronto Mayor David Miller and
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's announcement today that commits two-thirds
of the funding for 204 new Low Floor Light Rail vehicles is encouraging news
for workers at the Bombardier Thunder Bay facility, said CAW President Ken
Lewenza.
    However, Lewenza warned that the record $1.2 billion light rail project
could easily come to a grinding halt if the federal government does not come
on board.
    "It's incredibly disappointing to hear our Transport Minister use funding
technicalities as an excuse to justify the government's inaction," said
Lewenza, noting the project is expected to generate nearly 6,000 Canadian jobs
and will be a boost to many local economies.
    "It would be an absolute shame if the federal government pulled the plug
on this landmark streetcar project, not only because of the economic
ramifications but also the social and environmental benefits it brings to
millions of Canadians in the Greater Toronto Area," Lewenza said.
    CAW Local 1075 President Paul Pugh said the LRV contract, the largest in
North American history, would keep the Thunder Bay Bombardier facility running
for the next decade and maintain hundreds of manufacturing jobs.
    "Our plant is the lifeblood of a community that has been hit hard by the
economic crisis which has claimed hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs
across the country," Pugh said. "It simply makes no good sense why the federal
government would be calling this project into question and holding back these
funds at a time when Canadians need it most."
    Lewenza credited the Toronto Transit Commission as well as Toronto City
Council under the leadership of Mayor Miller along with Premier McGuinty for
establishing Canadian-content rules that guaranteed economic benefits to the
national economy from this purchase and for working with the CAW to help move
this streetcar project forward.
    "Today's announcement means we're one step closer to seeing this LRV
project become a reality although time is ticking," Lewenza said. "The next
step is securing funds from the federal government."
    The deadline to secure funding for the LRV project is set for June 27.






For further information:

For further information: Angelo DiCaro, CAW Communications, (cell) (416)
606-6311 or Paul Pugh, CAW Local 1075 President, (cell) (807) 620-3146

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