Sometimes the facts get the way of a good story, and the facts about the sinews of our country’s economy are bleak indeed.
As Eric Reguly summarizes in today’s Globe & Mail:
Entire Canadian industries – steel, brewing, mining, forestry – got hollowed out, leaving a few sorry subsidiaries behind. Today, the biggies in Corporate Canada are largely limited to the five banks, a couple of insurers, gold companies and energy names such as Suncor and TransCanada.
The job of the prime minister of Canada is to protect the citizens and build the country, so that the economy improves and people are better off when the prime minister steps down or is thrown out by voters.
And Harper has not really done that much to reduce the steady gutting of our country.
Now factor in this fact, also from today’s Globe & Mail:
One-fifth of the jobs in vehicle assembly and auto parts have vanished in Canada since 2001…A job with full seniority in the auto sector paying wages of more than $30 an hour with a defined benefit pension plan and other benefits has been a ticket to the middle class in Canada and the United States…Assembly plant workers earn the equivalent of about $2.90 (U.S.) an hour, estimates Alex Covarrubias, a professor at Sonora College in Hermosillo, Mexico. That’s about 10 per cent of what workers with full seniority are paid hourly at Canadian and U.S. assembly plants.
The article describes the steps taken by the Mexican government to attract auto plants to that country, and includes a waffling defensive statement from our industry minister, who, in typical Harper-Tory fashion, speaks along the fringes of reality, while avoiding serious discussion of the meaningful actions that need to be taken.
Like those the Mexican government has and is taking.
And, of course, we cannot forget the free trade agreements, which are not fair trade agreements, but are designed to gut our economy by permitting the flight of investment to the lowest wage countries. And, of course, to replace good manufacturing jobs by McJobs.
So, tell me again, Mr Harper: What was it that you did during the past ten years to strengthen our country? Apart from some frivolous spending on gazebos, and tens and tens of millions of taxpayers’ money on self-congratulatory advertisements?