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Navistar Nonsense

January 14, 2009 @ 08:50

This week's Harper Bash deals with an American company called Navistar.

Last week they gave 500 layoff notices to workers in Chatham, yet this week they announced they had signed a deal a 254 million dollar deal with the Canadian government to build a bunch of army trucks at their plant in Texas.

My goodness, how heartless can this Harper government be?

Can you imagine allowing Navistar to layoff a ton of people in Canada and then turn around and hand this company 254 million dollars to build military vehicles in the States.

It sounds so bloody ridiculous there's got to be an explanation. The point is, there is, but it depends on what side of the Harper Hater line you fall on whether you want to accept it.

If you hate the guy, regardless of what he does, you want to believe that Stephen Harper is a puppet of the Americans and is willing to sell us out at any cost. You want to believe he doesn't care about Canadian workers and its just another dumb decision along the way.

On the other hand, if you want to be rational, and accept the whole story based on the facts, you're willing to listen long enough to find out that the Chatham plant is not equipped to produce the trucks, and that as part of the deal the government carved with Navistar is to have a regional benefits clause that requires Navistar to match the $254 million contract with equal investment in Canada.

These little tidbits were lost on a lot of people. But you know what people - Harper Haters.

This is one of those stories that gets the juices flowing when you read the headlines, but it makes sense as read down the columns.

No doubt there are those within the CAW who are furious about this, but that's their job.
They're paid to make noise and overlook the fact that the Chatham plant would have to be totally retooled for this job.

On the other hand, I was talking with my boys Craig and Matt on The Rock in Windsor this morning and they said most of the feedback they got from listeners who work at Navistar in Chatham was level headed.

They were well aware that the military truck contract didn't make sense for their plant. It was almost a non issue.

But that's no good for Harper Haters. No way. They'd prefer to present the story like our Prime Minister is an out of control madman who'd prefer to give this contract to Americans over Canadians, just because he's stupid.

Let's get a grip. I'm sure as it stands it was hard for the government to make this announcement given the current economic climate, and I'm sure they knew the optics were all wrong.

But they went ahead with it because they had to, because our military needs trucks. So they cut the best deal they could, which again, involved a 254 million dollar investment coming back into Canada.

The Rational Man comes through again.

And one more note. Dean DelMastro is the MP for Peterborough. He's a Conservative and he made a great point on the Kruz Morning Show with Mike Melnik and John Badham this morning.

We shouldn't be so quick to get our knickers in a knot when we guy something off the Americans, because they buy a lot more off us, than we do them.

Funny thing though, Harper Haters don't like to mention that.

Category: Politics

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34 Responses to "Navistar Nonsense"

James Edgar
January 14, 2009 / 14:59

Better Texas than Quebec. I was in the reserves in the 1980's when it seemed bambardier got every contract. the Iltis and MLVW were built by them. . Both ultimatly junk.

January 14, 2009 / 15:14

My nephew loved his job with Navistar and loved his home in that area. But he had to make a decision years ago and left for Toyota and full employment.
I'm sure there's more to the Texas deal than we'll ever know as there's more to the snowmobile company and it's growth than we'll ever know.
Friend of mine once said 'something should be done about everything'.

January 14, 2009 / 16:42

Good one, Freddie. And I wonder how many of the "Harper Haters" who write letters to the Toronto Star every day take an annual winter jaunt to Florida. Lots, I'll bet.

January 14, 2009 / 16:44

I agree with the decision, and on a similar note - BC did much better by purchasing German made ferries this time - however - where does Harper come from in this story - Peter McKay is the minister of defence. Are you finally admitting that Harper has nobody in his party that can do their job - he even has to push his ministers away from negotiating a truck contract?

January 14, 2009 / 17:49

What tune you open minded folks playing if anybody but the Conservatives were in power and had brokered this deal?

No matter the jobs are gone it's a large contract and might have been nice to save a few Canadian jobs. Just like the TTC streetcar contract show go to an Ontario or Canadian compant.

James why all the Quebec hate?

Mike from Lowville
January 14, 2009 / 17:57

Fred, I literally had to hold my nose reading your rant. Bet you had a st-iffy typing it.

January 14, 2009 / 20:49

You had to hold your nose Mike because you're not open to logic.
You're prepositioned to hate everything the Conservatives do, regardless of what it is.
You're a Harper Hater. Exactly the point Freddie has made.

Mike from Lowville
January 14, 2009 / 23:22

So? Do you want a cigar or a CUPE doll?

January 15, 2009 / 00:46

I guess there's Harper Haters, and there's HITSCOJ's (people who believe Harper is the Second Coming of Jesus).

First of all, what does this have to do with Harper? Secondly, where's all the facts? Like the investment Navistar needs to make in Canada can be spread over seven years, or that they have a plant in Quebec rated for medium-duty trucks like the one's we just bought, or what the condition is of the trucks we're using and how badly they need to be replaced. I'm sure there's many of other details in this story that none of us know about right now, but these questions need to be asked. That's right, questions need to be asked of our leaders and of the decisions they make, even if we have to ask Lord Harper.

Dean DelMastro sounds like a guy who really thinks for himself. His point is absolutely moronic; the reason the US buys so much more from us is that we have lots of resources they need. We also import plenty of goods from them, and we have absolutely no reason to try and close the gap. After all, a strong trade surplus is good for a country, but I guess the HITSCOJ's don't like to mention that.

January 15, 2009 / 00:50

Oh, Fred, where's the post about the latest poll that has the Conservatives trailing the Liberals by a point? You were so quick to trot out polls right after the proroguing situation, I'd love to hear your take on this latest poll (and the comments that will follow).

January 15, 2009 / 06:15

Oh Mikey, you do speak the truth.

Freddie, I don't know if you were aware, but Canadians losing jobs is A BAD THING. Obviously, when it comes to government contracts the guys in charge have to try to get as low a price as possible while keeping quality high, but the way your going about it almost makes it sound like your happy 500 people lost their jobs.

Mike from Lowville
January 15, 2009 / 10:36

Thats why there is an ongoing national campaign by the, dare I mention, the CAW.

Mike from Lowville
January 15, 2009 / 10:39

Oops, my HTML skills failed. Should have linked to the

part of the Made in Canada campaign.

January 15, 2009 / 12:31

So Mike, CAW stands for ‘Canadian Auto Workers’. I understand the Canadian and auto part but how do these individuals qualify as ‘workers’? You have show up for work more often than not and actually work to be considered as a ‘worker’. No?

January 15, 2009 / 14:30

Argie - what does that have to do with anything? Do you have any numbers that say US union workers are more productive than their Canadian counterparts? Come on, stick to the topic. When there's a post strictly on union-hating, you can bring this up then.

January 15, 2009 / 15:31


UAW are just as bad as the CAW. My point/joke was directed at all unionized auto workers.

Mike from Lowville
January 16, 2009 / 10:14

Including yourself.....calling the kettle......

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