Letter – There are many issues to consider in voting

VIA Rail Train - Image Debate
VIA Rail Train - Image Debate

THUNDER BAY – LETTERS – There are many issues one must consider in voting, but I live in Thunder Bay, so one issue is very important for me: the future of the Bombardier Thunder Bay plant and its impact on our city’s economy.

Despite many meetings and conversations regarding this issue with our area MPs (both Liberals) since the last election, despite persistent Unifor (the union representing the workers at the ThB Bombardier plant) efforts on this topic, the response has been, not just nothing, but worse than nothing: last December, the Trudeau government awarded a contract for 32 VIA Rail train sets worth almost $1 billion to Siemens, to be built in California. As a sop, a renovation contract worth $154 million was also awarded, the work to be performed in Quebec. I have no issue with the Quebec work, but I view the $1 billion contract to be built in California as a complete abandonment of Canadian workers and Canadian industry. There is no way I could possibly vote for the Trudeau federal Liberals.

Of course, the federal Conservatives are no different. In fact, the zero Canadian content on federal procurement that led to the California award is part of the Free Trade Agreement negotiated by the former Harper Conservative government. The Trudeau government implemented it, but it is essentially what was negotiated by the Harper government. Both parties (and governments) were satisfied with zero percent Canadian content on federal procurement. I can not, will not, vote for either one of these parties. I expect the federal government to stand up for Canadian workers and industry.

In both his visits to Thunder Bay, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has clearly stated that if elected, the NDP will implement Canadian content requirements on federal government procurement. That is more like it. I will be voting for NDP candidate Anna Betty Achneepineskum in Thunder Bay-Superior North. If I lived in Thunder Bay – Rainy River, I would vote for NDP candidate Yuk Sem Won.

Paul Pugh

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