Friday, May 13, 2005

Come Fly With Me

The feds will spend $350 million to build the new Bombardier C-Series aircraft in Montreal, the Toronto Star reports.

The province of Quebec was selected as the final assembly site location because of the Canadian and Quebec governments' competitive partnership offers, as well as the overall favourable economic and manufacturing context," Bombardier said in a statement.

But the Star isn't happy with this recent announcement of Liberal largesse. Not in the least, because the Downsview plant was supposed to get the job:

Critics of the deal say the decision to make the plane in Quebec is a political ploy by the Liberals, who are likely going to face voters next month and are using the Bombardier investment to curry favour in Quebec at a time when disillusionment over the sponsorship scandal is high.

Meanwhile, some of those who lobbied hard to bring final assembly of the CSeries to Toronto now worry what the future holds for workers at the Downsview facility.

Bob Hamilton, plant chairperson for Canadian Auto Workers Local 112, which represents 1,600 workers at Bombardier's Downsview facility, said yesterday it was widely expected that Montreal would get the work. Workers at the Downsview plant, which builds the Dash 8 turboprop aircraft and Global Express executive jet, agreed to a wage freeze and changes in work rules as part of a 2003 deal that cost 360 jobs.
Councillor Maria Augimeri, (Ward 9, York Centre), who lobbied for Bombardier to locate the CSeries in Toronto, sounded deflated yesterday. Augimeri, chair of the Aerospace Action Partnership, a government, labour and business body set up to promote the industry said: "They left us with no hope for the plant. I'm angry."

Toronto's blind allegiance to the Liberal Party lets the Liberal government off the hook for any promise to Toronto it may choose to break. "New deal for cities"? Gas tax sharing? Infrastructure deals? Waterfront development? All those have, or will, fall by the wayside without serious political cost.

Montreal voters get skittish and the money rolls in.

Toronto voters stay loyal and get nothing for it, except the privilege of tarnishing the rest of Ontario's image as a province of corruption-loving statist fools.

Toronto could learn a lesson from Montreal, if it weren't so smug and self-righteous about its position as the enlightened centre of the universe.

1 comment:

Warwick said...

Toronto deserves more abuse than it gets.