December 18th, 2018

NDP: Liberals Must Intervene in Via Rail Contract

Robert Aubin, NDP Transportation Critic, Tracey Ramsey, NDP International Trade Critic, and Karine Trudel, NDP Labour Critic, issued the following statement:

“It’s now the turn of Quebec workers to bear the brunt of Liberal inaction.
Although the Liberal government has many options available to intervene in the Via Rail issue to guarantee job creation and the use of local materials from Quebec, it prefers to hide behind bogus constraints. And once again, Québec Liberal MPs are unable to have their voices heard within their own Caucus.
The Transport Minister repeated many times that his hands were tied by the CETA free trade agreement, a deal which was negotiated by his own government. This lack of leadership will cost Canadian businesses that will lose out on a contract worth more than 1 billion dollars. Meanwhile, reports indicate that we are currently in a trade deficit with Europe. How is showing preferential treatment to foreign companies a good deal for Canadians?
Liberal inaction is hurting Canadian workers. After GM announced it was closing its plant in Oshawa, it now seems it’s the La Pocatière community’s turn to bear the brunt of Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government’s inaction.
Last April, we wrote a letter to Marc Garneau, the Federal Minister of Transportation, to ask him to review the traditional approach of awarding the lowest bidder in calls for tender by the government. In particular, local content requirements and maximizing local economic spinoffs must be incorporated into existing selection criteria. If Trudeau’s Liberal government had a comprehensive manufacturing strategy, then this plan could be tied into local procurement, skilled trades training, and keeping stable, high-paying quality jobs in Canada.
The NDP is fighting for workers everywhere across the country. We will continue to fight to ensure that good paying jobs remain here in Canada.”