As municipal, provincial and federal officials scramble to find ways to keep Viceroy Homes, in Port Hope, from closing its doors and sending more than 100 unionized workers to the unemployment lines, there are some concerns that need to be raised beyond the obvious.
First, how was it nobody knew what was going on? With all the politicians claiming complete surprise at the announcement earlier this week, as well as highly paid economic development officers lounging around, it seems unbelievable that a major employer was able to come to this decision without someone having an inkling.
Next, it is a killer to see that this company, like so many other Canadian firms, was sold to a foreign investor and suddenly is pulling up stakes. When will MP Rick Norlock and his Tory buddies learn that selling off Canadian corporations to foreign investors is bad? There is no loyalty and there is no interest in helping the Canadian economy. It will not matter how many dollars taxpayers throw at these companies, we lose. Those dollars will flow out of the country in the long run. However, we can’t let our friends in Port Hope down. The plant must be saved.
Finally, it is no coincidence this all happens with union negotiations occurring in the background. Workers struggling to keep decent wages, fair working conditions and protect their members from the ravages of a global economic meltdown are met with disdain and reproach. Crushing unions will not help the economic recovery. And, corporations cannot justify this kind of open hostility. Still, no level of government will stand up for working class people anymore. It is merely a mad rush to vilify unionized workers at any costs through smear campaigns and propaganda. Now, more than 100 people will suffer.
All this shows the fragility of this economic recovery. Norlock and the Tories have nothing to boast about when it comes to this kind of reality. Even if he finds a program to help Viceroy stay open, it was his government’s policies that put the company in jeopardy. Also, MPP Lou Rinaldi needs to smell the coffee and take more interest in what is going on in his riding rather than serving his political ambitions at Queen’s Park. Finally, municipal leaders and economic development officers need spill some blood. We pay far too much money to allow this one to go by the boards. Somebody needs to step down or be fired for incompetence.