Canadian buses should transport Canadian troops, CAW President

    ST. JOHN'S, Aug. 9 /CNW/ - The recent decision of the Canadian government
to award a Canadian military contract to a German bus manufacturer
demonstrates a clear disregard for Canadian workers and the businesses that
employ them, according to CAW President Buzz Hargrove.
    He urged them to reverse this decision and send the contract to a
deserving Canadian producer, an option that would support workers and the
economy, while promoting Canadian goods.
    In a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of National
Defense Gordon O'Connor, Hargrove condemned the government for its recent
decision to send the $14 million contract out of the country.
    "Canada is a leading producer and exporter of passenger buses," wrote
Hargrove. "There are several passenger bus facilities across Canada, which are
fully capable of supplying this type of equipment to our own military forces.
The Prevost facility in Quebec, the Orion plant in Ontario, and the New Flyer
bus facility in Manitoba are all examples of the world-class manufacturing
facilities that can and should be building these vehicles for our armed
    With the current unprecedented downturn in manufacturing, it is critical
that all levels of government ensure Canadian facilities receive new work
stemming from public purchases financed with Canadian tax dollars, according
to Hargrove.
    "It is utterly offensive that our own tax dollars will now go offshore,
to provide our own armed forces with equipment that we are very well capable
of producing ourselves, at a moment in time when we need every dollar of
manufacturing work we can find," wrote Hargrove.
    "For you to justify this self-destructive decision on the basis of
so-called "cost accounting" is offensive to the hundreds of thousands of
Canadian workers who have lost good manufacturing work in the last two years.
    "If these buses were made in Canada, your own government receives back at
least 20 cents of every dollar paid to the workers who manufacture these
vehicles (in federal income taxes and GST).
    The broader spin-offs go much further: provincial and municipal tax
revenues; stimulus to the many Canadian-based companies which supply bus
producers with parts, supplies, and services; and the stimulus provided to the
local consumer goods and services which benefit from the spending of employed
manufacturing workers.
    I urge you to cancel the decision to award this project to the German
firm, SETRA, and re-open the bidding for Canada's numerous passenger bus
producers to supply the needed equipment. This decision is another example of
why Canada urgently needs a comprehensive "Buy Canadian" procurement policy."
    To read the complete letter, visit:

For further information:

For further information: CAW Communications, Shannon Devine, (cell)
(416) 302-1699

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Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)

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