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Globe essay

Ontario's back is to the wall

From Saturday's Globe and Mail

Its industrial pillars crumbling, our most populous province is calling for relief. Will Ottawa listen? ...Read the full article

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  1. Bob Dylan's Voice from Canada writes: Maybe I missed it but the whole article about Ontario having tough times and no action from the Ontario government other than the ongoing equalization complaints. I find it unacceptable that the Ontario government has been laying back for 5 years waiting for the pie to be sliced differently instead of pursuing some initiatives to help its economy. What is also disconcerting is that the citizens of this once proud province accept this. Other provinces who have experienced these situations jump to action. BC is working an economic plan as is Alberta and their situation is not nearly so dire as Ontario. Please come out of your basement Daulton. Ontario needs a plan.
  2. Chester Rockwell from Canada writes: I agree with the general consensus that Ontario for various reasons does not get a 'fair shake' from the national framework (numbers don't lie, we are underrepresented and funded in every major way from political representation to health care payments). I disagree with the proposed solutions, though. 'Regional development' schemes in Canada have a terrible track record. Awful, in fact. No matter where you look they fail. The North, Atlantic Canada, Northern Ontario (which does have one), Quebec and so forth. Western Canada's success clearly owe nothing to federal programs.

    An upgraded Detroit-Windsor crossing would help manufacturers, but that seems to be under consideration already.

    Further, Ontario itself shouldn't be looked at as one homogeneous block. Much of the current economic turmoil is not an 'Ontario' event as so much as a 'Southern Ontario' event. The GTA, say what you will, is doing relatively well. That doesn't minimize the issues, but it does have policy implications. In the long run, mandating the TTC buy it's subway cars from Thunder Bay or investing a wildly disproportionate amount of Ontario's highway repair/construction fund to Northern Ontario is not a good idea. We hear a lot of talk of 'new industries'. only to see the Ontario government revive the Chevy Camaro at great cost to the tax payer.
  3. D Peters from Alberta, Canada writes: Imagine that, it seems Ontario is pretty much a one industry town after all (manufacturing). The steel mill just closed down and your feeling the pinch. Whats worse is you only had one customer (USA).

    I know we are all Canadians and all but I can't help and smile about the time Ontario went to bat for Alberta against the NEP. OH, thats right to they went for the NEP. We took alot of heat over that, foreclosures left/right/centre, unemploment at 20% , businesses going bankrupt daily, and I fondly remember the untold help we recieved from our eastern brethren. If memory serves I think we got an old desk and an empty stapler. Oh ya and a heart slap on the back while ya said 'that which does not kill ya makes ya stronger.

    Although Mcquinty was asleep at the wheel, there wasn't much that he could have done, and I am sure we will fell the slap of recession here also. Kinda looking forward to it actually, maybe have a chance to go fishing or something. Those 80 hr weeks get to be a bit much after awhile.

    Sarcasm aside, she is gonna get tough all over Canada, play your cards close.
  4. J Canucklehead from Disband the UN, Canada writes: I guess I don't see the point of having a government in Queen's Park, when all the solutions seem to be only obtainable in Ottawa.
  5. D Peters from Alberta, Canada writes: Chester, not very many provinces are a homogeneous blocks. Hence the riding system. Admittedly the ridings have changed, and some quite considerably. I'll agree we need a rethink there. But division lines not based soully on population but on how alike an area is. We could probably make due with about 201 ridings rather than 301. With modern communication there is no need for an MP to travel the countryside. Actually, no reason to even go to Ottawa. Maybe go to Ottawa 4 times a year or something like that.

    No matter how bad the economy gets, no one in the government is going to get a pink slip, maybe its time they did.
  6. g mar from Yorkton, Canada writes: Ontario was having problems over 1 year ago. The Government blew large amounts of money and received very little in return for it. Out of financial amunition, McGuinty as usual then blamed others for his problems. He blamed the Federal Government and its equalization programs, instituted by Liberals and fully supported by Ontario for years, and demanded a large rebate. Flaherty responded that Ontario should stop attempting to pick winners such as the auto industry and cut taxes, letting the markets decide. The two engaged in a public dispute. Now things are getting worse. Ontario'share of Canada's GDP is now lower than 38% and continues to decline. Ontario is now having to borrow money to fund its wasteful and futile policies. In his 5 to 6 years in power, McGuinty continues to blame everyone else for economic problems certainly exacerbated by stupid Liberal tax and spend initiatives. McGuinty is only to happy to stick his face in front of the cameras when some company decides to locate there because of some generous government incentives. But you never see him when layoff notices come out. Too bad Ontario. That is what you get for electing those despicable Liberal squanderers. I hope you keep electing them because it will do the west no harm. Gary Marshall
  7. Pierre Vincent from Gatineau, Canada writes: Fairer treatment from Ottawa in respect of EI and social transfer programs would help, but the challenges faced by Ontario will require much more dramatic rethinking, and this on the part of all players (private, public at three levels, universities, unions, etc.) World trade liberalization obviously accelerated the process whereby competitiveness needs to be constantly uptated/re-established. But of course this is universal, and by no means unique to Ontario. But this province also shares the challenges of most previously top industrial regions in the western world, eg the US Mid-West, UK's Midlands, or Germany's Ruhrgebiet. In that latter case, the (on-going) re-structuration has entailed substantial reductions in its formerly key coal and steel sectors. New, more high-tech firms emerged, along with new university and technical learning establishments. Despite all that however, the Ruhrgebiet, and the whole state of North Rhine Wesphalia for that matter, have lost grounds to (previously) more rural southern Germany (Bavaria and Baden-Wuertemberg). But then, ONTARIO is a lot lot more: -Is is is the financial and commercial centre of the country--and I fully expect that it so remains. -On a world scale, it has a well above average geographic endowment. Consider Southern Ontario: surrounded by three huge freshwater bodies, a moderate climate, rich agricultural lands, and scenic features. All this near the core of the USA. And Northern Ontario: a vast land inhabited by people with huge untaped potential. (More on this in a future post) So what now: I believe that broad macroeconomic measures (monetary/fiscal) are warranted in the short term. But the global restructuring of the Ontario economy demands significant (not token please !) sector-, region-, and demographic-specific measures. The MARKET can implement most of these, but guidance/signals from the government will help...
  8. D Peters from Alberta, Canada writes: Nice comment Pierre, personally I would prefer the government stay out of it. Thier record of social engineering is horrendous at best. As for the job creation programs, thats better left in private hands on a level playing field.
  9. Pierre Vincent from Gatineau, Canada writes: It is not an easy one indeed, D Peters. First, I trust you are not reading that I support so-called job creation programs, far from it.
    More fundamentally, your response to my above comment leads me to submit the following question: in a country, in a continent (aka NAFTA), in a world where virtually ALL governments intervene in the economy, what are we supposed to do? (Other than promote, or perhaps pray for a true level playing field...) But you must certainly know that the global 'floor' (my words) is full of bumps and traps, including several which are virtually invisible (at the sub-national level for example). Can we truly afford to be the only one (country) to play by the book? And how do you think the market is going to respond? Because in the end, market forces will tend to incorporate the (market-) distorting government measures in their profit-maximizing calculations. And please let me tell you that national fiscal health, however positive, is not the sole determining factor. Sensitivity to carrots (and sticks as well) is real!
  10. Ryan Ginger from Canada writes: Well gee, when our own Federal Finance Minister goes around telling his friends that Ontario is the 'last place to do business', should we be surprised if businesses aren't exactly clamoring to invest in Ontario?
  11. Carl Burton from Nanaimo , B.C., Canada writes: Duh! What was that again ? Sorry I was lying here wondering whether I would go golfing tomorrow in Parksville or skiing at Mount Washington. Then again i may do neither. Just go out in my sailboat and set some crab traps.
  12. J. Michael from Canada writes: Ontario's problems are the same as the USA's problem. The cause: The nuclear family has been trashed, everything else, including failed industry, are just symptoms.

    It has only taken thirty plus years.
  13. Vern McPherson from Canada writes:
    Ontario has a vigorous economic plan. Have for years.

    It's just that ignorami are unaware of it. And they want to be unaware of it. Being aware of it doesn't help their agenda.

    That's why they centre on liberal/COns ideology stuff instead of facts.

    COns are stupid that way.

    There are no new taxes in Ontario since 03 - excepting the health premium - something other provinces charge and an bringing it forward was not optional given the state of the provinces finances after the last batch of COns left. Besides it's largely no cost to lower income earners and reached it's maximum at quite high income levvels.

    Seems battleing lies and propaganda is as tough as taking care of real issues.
  14. Al Smith from writes: McGinty bet it all on the auto sector...and lost. Ontario will remain a have-not province for a very long time.
  15. Hap Stokes from Canada writes: D Peters
    Did did reply to you post on Thurs PM but it wasn't published by G & M
    Contact me anytime at--- hapstokes@shaw.ca

    I feel so sorry for my friends and fellow Canadians in S.Ont --But they are a tough bunch and they will survive this present blip and be richer and better for it when it ends.

    We had the same crazy thing happen here with logging in BC. People suffering and losing all and forced to go to Fort St John or Fort Mac so they could earn enough to feed their kids. Honest men forced into crime to survive. One poor slob even robbed a bank with his kids bicycle, because he couldn't afford gas for his Chevy P/U. All because of some rich kids from the big cities joining with the media and Eco-nuts screaming about Marmots or some obscure Owl that nobody has seen for a century or longer.

    I'm a Nova Scotian, trust me I know how you people in S.Ont feel.
    Good luck Ontario, we are with you in both heart and mind.
  16. Mark Shore from Ottawa, Canada writes: Three posts before an Albertan whines about the NEP. Sadly that misses the record by two...

    The NEP was a short-lived program three decades ago, and - news flash - Trudeau's been dead for eight years.
  17. S. Rossel from London, Canada writes: Over-taxed... over-unionized... gimme my Government cheques and social programs.
    Gee.. I wonder why Ontario is sinking??
  18. Hail to the Conservatives ! from London, Canada writes: I live in Ontario, and we deserve it. Spoiled, uneducated, welfare brats.
  19. Gardiner Westbound from Canada writes: .
    Uncompetitive Ontario taxes that maintain the bloated, overpaid civil service and high energy costs are chasing established companies out and preventing new ones from entering. There is little chance it will change. The unions bought and paid for the McGuinty government.
  20. boz dobbs from toronto, Canada writes: When that stimulus money comes Dalton should build a cricket field from Union Station to Pearson Airport,top up all the money the Teachers pension fund lost with the market hit and invest in any off broadway musical thats willing to open in Toronto.
  21. Dave Jansen - The Progressive Centrist from Canada writes: .

    I agree with all the conservative posters today;

    Let Ontario die. It's the only way we can make amends for the NEP 30 years ago where unemployment shot through the roof in Alberta to 9%. It was a depression the likes of which no one else in the world has ever had to burden.

    Conservatives are right - let Ontario die - Alberta needs revenge for the ravages of 30 years ago.
  22. Z M from Canada writes: Hail to the Conservatives ! from London, Canada writes: I live in Ontario, and we deserve it. Spoiled, uneducated, welfare brats.

    Awesome comment! Blanket statements that have little or no basis in fact are super cool and prove everyone else wrong. You rock!
  23. malcom thomas from False Proifit, Canada writes: Retrain people for what exactly? Diversify into what other well paying jobs? We have no coherent strategy and vision from either the provincial or federal government. Instead of preparing for the future we become a victim of it...
  24. David Simon from Canada writes: Don't worry, McGuinty can always give more money to GM to build the Camaro. That's the Ontario economic plan (has been for decades actually)

    The health car(e) levy was the biggest tax increase in Canadian provincial history. And lots of the money for 'health care' went for non-health related spending.

    When the price of oil was low did AB get more Fed money? When the price of uranium was low did SK?
  25. Counterspinner tells the truth from Canada writes: S. Russel is right. Add in the costs of a huge immigration population that isn't working and is supported by the state and the socialist nanny state doesn't work so well any more - does it, neo-liberals?
  26. mainstation ... from Canada writes: Let Ontario die, revenge?,
    Such brilliant analysis, did all these posters advocating such comments read the part in the article where it indicates how much $$financially$$ Ontario contributes to Canada's overall economy. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.
    Another poster rightfully indicated that the NEP was over 30 years ago!! Most of the people/families suffering in Ontario (and the rest of Canada) now having lost their jobs have absolutely no recollection or connection to the NEP--get over it.
    Canada needs a strong Ontario, like the rest of the World needs a strong United States. We are all in this togethor and collectively have a very tall hill to climb.
  27. Concerned Canadian from Nova Scotia, Canada writes: Government - get out of the way and let Ontario's economy restructure. It will be painful, but it will be temporary. Nonviable businesses will disappear. Jobs will be lost. People will suffer hard times.

    But from the ashes, new businesses will be started and jobs will be created. Prosperity will return, and on a more sustainable footing than in the recent past.

    This is the only way to ensure that we're not still having this same debate 5 years from now.
  28. Urbanrat Ratus from Windsor, Canada writes: Forget the harmonizing of taxes with Ottawa, 'Canada needs a strong Ontario!' But does Ontario need Canada or can we afford Canada as it is now? This isn't a knee jerk reaction to the above column but I have for ten years or so thought that it is time for Ontario to go, to leave Confederation. The rest of Canada is a drain on our economy, our incomes and our standard of living. Without Ontario, the feds (all of them) wouldn't have the where with all to buy a vote in another province, especially Quebec who receives the lion's share of what Ontario produces because they whine the loudest. It's time to take off the gloves and throw our weight around if we are to survive in this province. Quit begging and start demanding ...with the OR ELSE threat!
  29. bob saunders from Belleville, ON, Canada writes: Vern McPherson from Canada writes:
    Ontario has a vigorous economic plan. Have for years.

    It's just that ignorami are unaware of it. And they want to be unaware of it. Being aware of it doesn't help their agenda.
    ---------------------------- So Vern enlighten us plebs on this great and vigorous economic plan, because McLier hasn't been touting it, and either has Duncan; most likely because it isn't working. I'm fully in agreement that EI should be the same across Canada and the Federal funding should be largely a per capita funding. Of course the people where there is a larger geographical area but smaller population like NFLD/Labrador won't be happy but what the Hay, Ontario will be treated FAIRLY. While were at it lets move the Federal capital to Saskatoon- nicer city than Ottawa anyways.
  30. bob saunders from Belleville, ON, Canada writes: Urbanrat Ratus from Windsor, Canada writes: But does Ontario need Canada or can we afford Canada as it is now? This isn't a knee jerk reaction to the above column but I have for ten years or so thought that it is time for Ontario to go, to leave Confederation. The rest of Canada is a drain on our economy, our incomes and our standard of living. -------------------------------- You sound like somebody that has been to the rest of this great country. Ontario can count most of it's financial place in Canada to the luck of good geographical location - next to the part of the US with the largest population with the great lakes for navigation. Then add a Federal government that for the better part of the last 150 years has set the rules of commerce in Canada to best serve Ontario & Quebec. Ontario as a province failed to adapt to the changes caused by globalization that have been evident for the past 20 years- They dropped the ball. Canada in general has dropped the ball, hope its not to late to adapt. You might look into why there is a western separatist movement.
  31. bob london from Canada writes: Dalton has the spending problem that accelerated this. If your child has an eating problem to you give him free cookies so he is happy or should he learn to loose weight?

    The dilemma is for the Feds is Ontario is so entitled with an ignorant mass of bureaucrats and entitled voters they could destroy Canada. Until now they have only destroyed other provinces every decade with their voting records and inept banking policies.

    Damn the National Socialists of Ontario.
  32. bob london from Canada writes: Bob Saunders, Ontario is only lucky about the banking sector because of the Quebec infighting in the 1970's and possible separation. Montreal is where the head offices for many including the Royal Bank remain registered and could easily move their 'operational' headquarters out once more.
  33. lary waldman from Qualicum Beach, Canada writes: What do you expect from a Province where the teachers union buys the Toronto maple leafs instead of growing jobs in the private sector with investment there. The people in Toronto, and there are many exceptions, are hideously self centered jerks.

    Lary Waldman
  34. all good from Svalbard and Jan Mayen Isl writes: The answer is nobody cares. The politicians are too busy cashing in their fat paycheks, the globalization benefits the rich and the comunist party of China and NO; one ( who pays 2-300 $ a month in property taxes alone ) cannot compete with a worker that makes 2-300$ a month . And Yes the government creates jobs( after all they are still hiring at all 600 levels. Other than this wait for the oil to go down and the gas to go up .
  35. F I from Canada writes: J Canucklehead from Disband the UN, Canada....excellent observation.
  36. Dick Garneau from Canada writes: For decades other Provinces were unfairly treated.
    Those old enough remember the Freight Rates inequality, and still in existence the wheat board inequality.

    However if we find inequality today lets try to fix it. Decisions shouldn't be made on population alone. Our regional differences are significant and need special attention. Mining and forestry will come back but some manufacturing will not return.

    Some of our population will require retraining, others will have to relocate and still others will have to retire on much less because of years of greed and abuse to our economy.

    Don't expect the economy to improve until 2011 or beyond.
    .
  37. Concerned Canadian from Nova Scotia, Canada writes: lary waldman from Qualicum Beach, Canada writes: 'What do you expect from a Province where the teachers union buys the Toronto maple leafs instead of growing jobs in the private sector with investment there.'
    --------------------------
    Aren't the Toronto Maple Leafs a private sector business?
  38. Free The West Free The West from A Vote For The Liberals Is a Vote For The Bloc., Canada writes: Chester Rockwell from Canada writes: 'I agree with the general consensus that Ontario for various reasons does not get a 'fair shake' from the national framework '. Yeah right, Ontario has legislated advantages everywhere, plus a huge Federal civil service that is supported by everybody else.

    I think most of the comments above are correct, Ontario is the author of its' own misfortune. Socialism only survives when there is a right wing system [the West] to leech off. The G&M and downtown Torontonians are determined to try to drag down the West to their level. The parasite killing the host.
  39. narain deshpande from toronto, Canada writes: Can someone please explain to me why this is a surprise to anyone? Look, here is the explanation, pure and simple: ONTARIO depends moe on technology and manufacturing than other provinces, so it is naturally suffering more!! WHY? Because we DO NOT compete so much against Quebec or Alberta .. our competition is: SILICON VALLEY, BOSTON, etc etc.
    In comparison with those jurisdictions, we rank VERY POORLY. Canada CANNOT compete in tech and manufacuring, for very simple reasons. LOOK at the immigrants we bring in VERSUS what they have down there!
    Most Canadian immigrants come from Middle East, Pakistan or the non-industrialized PUNJAB region of India. They all have fancy degrees .. which dont seem to help much in getting jobs here (quite ubderstandable since those regions' degrees dont mean much).
    By contrast American skilled immigrants come from Kora, Taiwan, and the advanced regions of India.
    It is great that our industries are failing.. what do we expect with these policies?
    N Deshpande
    CANADIAN HINDU ADVOCACY

  40. narain deshpande from toronto, Canada writes: We think that capitalism means that those who have poor policies do not perform well and suffer, while those who enact positve initiatives will prosper. The fact that ONTARIO is doing poorly is actually a good thing: it proves thta capitalism is working the way it is supposed to work.
    It's never a bad thing when the system works. On the contrary, it would be greater cause for alarm if these awful immigration policies were being followed and yet Ontario was somehow doing well!
    N Deshpande
    CANADIAN HINDU ADVOCACY
  41. Dan Green from Palm Beach Gardens FL, United States writes: Thought provoking article.I fly into Toronto often, and still maintain an office there for my business. Usually we approach from the west, along the 401. When I look out the window , it looks as if I were fying into any city, Chicago, LA, Miama, etc. I see a Sony building, a Panasonic building, a Microsoft building, an Anixter building, and so on. Then I have come to understand, the car plants are in Oshawa, Oakville, and Bramp's ton. The Japanese seem to be in the western part of the province. Then the downtown skyline is like any big city, Banks, Lawyers, and accountants, occupy the office towers. Conference I attend, educate me to the fact, numerous branch plants, all over the province, are closing, as they cannot export to the US, unless the Canadian currency is .68 cents. I have determined Ontario has enough diversity, it will evolve into something different, than it currently is. Cars,branch plants, and Banks. I spent time there, working for one of the largest, US multinationals in the US. Our Canadian manufacturing export volume was 600 million US dollars. With globalization, Ontario like many US states, is not a place where you want to make widgets. It is a desireable place to re distribute from, for Canadian consumption, as rail links and semi adequate road system, is well set up, to import sea containers. Corporate taxes are fair, benefit cost with universal healthcare are competitve, provincal taxes, and value added taxes are high. Net, Ontario works, because the citizens make it work. Like most jurisdictions, people want to stay, not relocate, for the sake of some corporations bottom line. Once you get on that band wagon ,you'll move everytime a corporation can save 5 cents, or find someone who will do your job for less.
  42. Yvonne Wackernagel from Woodville, Canada writes: So much bickering. Stop complaining about McGuinty; he may not be perfect but you complained bitterly about Mike Harris and the 'lousy' teachers voted him out: since then I cannot find a teacher who speaks grammatical English. They have never heard of the subjunctive mood and forgot what they learned about personal pronouns in Grade 3, if they ever did learn anything. You people in Alberta who are so bitter all the time, just remember that oil is going out of fashion and you will have difficulty selling your dirty oil in the not too distant future. Then you might be glad to accept help from Ontario AGAIN. You all complain that the Feds. always favour Quebec but I would remind you that Quebec is the most progressive Province in Canada and, in case you do not know this, try and do some research. We have spent so much extra money since Stephen Harper has become Prime Minister; just look at all the extra security he thinks he needs, not to mention the larger cabinet and so many extra employees to support his Government which has become a total disaster. All his 'chumming' up with George Bush did not bring us any favours with respect to trade or border security; to the contrary our citizens were given a hard time every time they tried to spend some time south of the border. This Harper Govt. is Expensive, very Expensive. Then look at all the other layers of Government and especially the quassi government agencies and see how many benefits they get which they do not deserve and how diminished their services have become over the last few years. We have nurses in hospitals who, with no record charts at the foot of beds, should update the computers before leaving on breaks but seldom do, just passing on information by word of mouth causing great distress to a lot of patients which is all kept secret. Continued:-
  43. Yvonne Wackernagel from Woodville, Canada writes: CONTINUED: And then there are the Police Services. I live at a strategic corner just outside a large village and the only time a police is seen in the area is when they are racing past my property. We have young teenagers riding at 60 miles an hour down the ROAD at 9:30 at night happy in thought that no police would be around for a while. And when a local Bank was robbed a few months ago, it took half an hour for the police to get to the crime scene. Famers losing assets are just out of luck, even for being able to get a report for the insurance so that they can recoup their losses. And, if you write to your councillor, you are likely to get an arrogant officer telephoning you and treating you as an unintelligent person who does not pay enormous amounts in municipal taxes. Yes, it is time to start accepting strikes from these quassi government agencies until they drop from hunger and are willing to really work for their wages and benefits. Of course, the municipalities and this province, at least, work mostly on cronyism and so highly skilled and experienced immigrants or even qualified university trained students find it next to impossible to get jobs outside of their native towns where they have influence. This beautiful and great country of mine is S I C K. Maybe I should not say this but a good depression might be good for bringing everyone back down to a low level giving them time to take stock of themselves and realize that WE ARE ALL ON THIS EARTH TO HELP EACH OTHER, TO BE FAIR-MINDED AND TO STOP DOING ILLEGAL ACTS, LIKE GOING TO CHURCH REGULARLY WHILST CARTING COW MANURE ON FARMLAND ON TOP OF THE SNOW. It is time to take stock of ourselves - first and foremost - and then and only then, things might improve for ALL. In the meantime, let us consider that some people should be voted out of office at the next election; let us consider whether they are doing what they promised to do. And, if not, vote them out.
  44. Vic Hotte from Kettleby, Canada writes: 'I can't find anything,' Mr. Arancibia said. 'There's too many people.' Ontario’s government followed the federal mantra that more people would translate into more jobs in some kind of magic formula. Ontario has relied on the Auto Pact almost exclusively since 1965! If my history is correct, that is one year after provincial medicare and CPP came into existence. Corporations built plants here to take advantage of government programs and reduce their costs. Canada developed a branch plant mentality; in more recent times, it has been selling its resources to multinational corporations. The national cupboards are bare. Politicians grew more complacent in their belief nothing would change, but things did change dramatically since NAFTA, globalized trade, and the last recession in 1991. Jobs began to disappear to places like Mexico, India and China. Canadian politicians proclaimed a new ‘knowledge economy’ to be in play. Where? Instead, the bricks, mortar and asphalt mindset took hold more tenaciously than in the 1950s, so the GTA is now paved from Lake Ontario to Lake Simcoe … and people are out of work again. The political solution is, once again, to put ‘shovels in the ground’. How many more times can this be done with the same inevitable results? The GDP provides a false sense of ‘development’, when only dollars are counted. We have had a spectacular demonstration of that misguided measure with all the recent financial scandals which have proven the intrinsic worthlessness of dollar transactions as a gauge of economic health. As a cold weather climate, Canada cannot compete against places with a warm weather advantage and lower wage expectations. Mexico and India will get those jobs. We have to consolidate and understand that what we can do will inevitably involve fewer people. When will politicians wake up from their 1965 dream?
  45. Vic Hotte from Kettleby, Canada writes: Thanks to Dan Green from Palm Beach Gardens FL for a great comment.
  46. Lie Detector 2 from Halifax, Canada writes: Will Ottawa listen?
    No.
    Harper is incapable of listening.
    It is not 'in his DNA'. Unless the neo-cons are defeated, Harper will continue to be the only voice of the government in Ottawa. The only way he was forced to listen to the concerns of Canadians was by the brute force threat of the Coalition. As soon as that threat is gone he will go back to his old ways.

    Remember his advice that it was 'a good time to buy stock' as the stock markets plummeted? Anyone who followed his advice soon learned that Harper had not listened to any of the experts who really knew what was happening in the markets.

    We all know guys like Harper...they are always telling you that they know best, even when they know absolutely NOTHING about what they are talking about. These guys never listen, we all know that. Its just that most of us don't bother to listen to them.
  47. Allan Simonson from Canada writes: Why is it up to Ottawa to save Ontario jobs? Here's a clue folks, jobs are created with economic demand.

    I find it funny that Ontario has suffered for what, 5-6 years now? Even during good times.

    It's a regional problem, not a federal one. Governments don't 'fix' things. People like you and I do.
  48. Donald Wilson from Canada writes: There can be no mistake in hindsight - neither the Harperites nor McGinty group had the vision necessary to have seen the failure of the auto industry to sell large numbers of gas guzzlers . Neither have they the vision to see the way forward . there is much that can be done to re-employ laid off Ontario workers . Elsewhere I wrote about industries that can be started within a year or little more .
    And still both levels of government are willing to pour billions into two auto companies - one of which is unlikely to make it - instaed of into proping up the GM pension fund and revising it so that payments are sustainable .

    Volvo might be wise to rethink moving out of Goderich as the Canadian dollar again gives great advantage to manufacturing in Canada . Now if only the CAW would get real !
  49. Allan Simonson from Canada writes: What vision is required? Last time I checked, the government doesn't tell the big 3 what kind of cars they should make.
  50. rick from river city from Canada writes: For decades Ontario manufacturing survived on a lower Canadian dollar. Now, even when the dollar does swing lower, the growth of manufacturing in other markets around the globe can produce anything cheaper than Ontario can. Ontario thought it was immune to the ups and downs experienced by other provinces, that it was somehow guaranteed prosperity and high wages. Ontario benefited from an influx of trained people from other provinces when times were tough for those people in their home province. All of that has changed and Ontario has been soft for so long it can now not adjust to the new economy. The Ontario government doesn't know how, the workers refuse to accept the reality that perhaps Ontario is no longer the home of the most lucurative jobs in the country, and may not be for decades to come, or ever again... it is possible. Together they scratch their heads and bay for someone else to come to their rescue. Until Ontario lets dying industries die (like their auto sector) and actually makes an effort to move towards industries of the future they will continue to wallow in surprised lament over their current manufacturing situation and make no movement towards a more stable and prosperous future. Can Ontario compete in a world economy? Certainly not if they don't even try.
  51. Steve French from Windsor (Flint, North), Canada writes: No. In this orchestrated 'collapse' government is doing exactly what it's supposed to do - bury the country in 'debt' in perpetuity. It makes no difference who is in power. The world banksters have been doing the exact same thing to third world countries for decades, now the scam has come home to roost in North America.
    1) How is it possible that every country in the world can be 'in debt' ??? and,
    2) Who is creditor?

    Answering these questions will be a start to understanding the true nature and source of this fabricated 'crisis'.
    Clue: it has nothing to do with unions and high comparative standards of living in North America.
  52. Wilma Guywin from Allover Canada, Canada writes: Mark Shore from Ottawa, Canada writes: Three posts before an Albertan whines about the NEP. Sadly that misses the record by two...

    The NEP was a short-lived program three decades ago, and - news flash - Trudeau's been dead for eight years.

    when you consider it took Alberta 10 years to recover from that recession and there were lots of casualties. In fact the first food bank in Canada was established in Edmonton during that time out of need. These things are pretty well ingrained in our memories. We will see how long Ontario whines about their recession.
  53. Flander Jones from Canada writes: Wilma Guywin from Allover Canada, Canada writes:when you consider it took Alberta 10 years to recover from that recession.

    Are you saying that the whole reason for that was NEP and had nothing to do with oil prices at that time?
  54. Sydney R from Canada writes: I don't believe globalization or free trade have been good for industrial Ontario (as in the US) and I hope they find solutions to this. As an Atlantic resident I recognize that Ontario's role as a source of prosperous employment had been crucial to eastern job seekers-- and industries. Maybe Ontario dropped the ball on adapting to global trade and the aftermath of climate effects vs big oil. I feel sympathy for Ontario residents trapped in mortgages and local taxes much higher than ours, though ruefully there was little central sympathy in some quarters for eastern livelihoods destroyed in Ottawa's mismanagement of fisheries. And I do see this as a federal problem, not just Ontario's--we're dealing with huge numbers of jobs there.
  55. kotter 49 from Canada writes: The Ontario gov't is giving a parts plant 2.4 million to create 128 jobs. That works out to $187,500 a job. Does this make sense?
  56. Neo/TheoCon Lies - Harper Dysfunctional from Canada writes: _My local conReform MP D VanKesteren has been muzzled and caged during his entire term as MP for my riding. His lack of response to our economic state and showing any leadership or support for his constituents in my area is dismal. His alliance is to Harper and Harper alone. My community is being hit hard by manufacturing job losses, the unemployment rate is over 10%. VanKestern seems unconcerned about this and has only provided talking points when interviewed by local media and flip flops on issues by saying one thing and does another. He has not presented any economic stimulus ideas to Parliament to assist his constituents. Could it be that he now realizes that his inactions for his constituents have enraged them ? Our local Member of Provincial Parliament P Hoy has even rallied people of this riding to stand up and speak . . . that is how bad things are getting in my area. Today, a large rally with about 1000 people in attendance was held earlier today in my community and despite the bitter cold weather, the turnout was powerful. I just got back from this event. The rally was held right in front of conReform MP D VanKesterens office. CAW President Ken Lewenza was rally speaker and gave an incredible and emotional speech for all in attendance. Lewenza called on all Canadians to demand a government that speaks for the people and not politics. Civil unrest seems to be rearing its head globally, if the conReform continues with it's hopeless track record of inaction or action for the sake of 'appeasing' at the last minute only, civil unrest may start happening here...especially in economically hard hit areas of Canada where people will become destitute, which then leads to desperation. Of course, that would mean nothing to a conReformer would it ? Anyone else have stories to report from their communities ?_
  57. Bob Dylan's Voice from Canada writes: Flander Jones from Canada writes: Wilma Guywin from Allover Canada, Canada writes:when you consider it took Alberta 10 years to recover from that recession.

    Are you saying that the whole reason for that was NEP and had nothing to do with oil prices at that time?
    =============================================
    NEP 1981
    Low Oil prices 1986

    The first 5 years is on the NEP tab but it wasn't the whole story of Alberta's recession
  58. Flander Jones from Canada writes: Wilma Guywin from Allover Canada, Canada writes: These things are pretty well ingrained in our memories. We will see how long Ontario whines about their recession.

    Some 110,000 tonnes of hay have been shipped west as result of the creative generosity of farmers of Eastern Ontario who have tried to make a difference by shipping excess hay from their own fields to their fellow farmers in Western Canada who have suffered the worst drought since the dust bowls of the 30's.

    How's your memory with that Wilma?
  59. rick from river city from Canada writes: Flander Jones from Canada - thanks for the hay bud, really. But Westerners would have rather just kept their cash then being forced to give it to Trudeau.
  60. Dave Jansen - The Progressive Centrist from Canada writes: Flander Jones from Canada writes: Wilma Guywin from Allover Canada, Canada writes:when you consider it took Alberta 10 years to recover from that recession.

    Are you saying that the whole reason for that was NEP and had nothing to do with oil prices at that time?

    ---------------------

    Yes - it has nothing to do with oil. Alberta's economy has NOTHING to do with oil except for the NEP. Didn't you hear? Alberta's success is 100% because of lower taxes and conservative governance - it's all that rural 'can-do' attitude that everyone else in the world lacks.
  61. Garibaldi III from TO from Canada writes: kotter 49 from Canada writes: The Ontario gov't is giving a parts plant 2.4 million to create 128 jobs. That works out to $187,500 a job. Does this make sense?
    ------
    Only if you are a Harper Cons..... for the rest of us it works out to $ 18,750..... I do see your point never the less.
    :-)
  62. Wilma Guywin from Allover Canada, Canada writes: Flander Jones from Canada writes: Wilma Guywin from Allover Canada, Canada writes:when you consider it took Alberta 10 years to recover from that recession. Are you saying that the whole reason for that was NEP and had nothing to do with oil prices at that time? NEP destroyed investment, it was a program that depended on high oil prices to fill ithe federal coffers while reducing the oil companies share by 40% and the provinces share by 20%. In 1983 Instead of finding themselves with a rich industry that they could tax at higher rates, the feds found a depressed industry that was even less attractive after the seemingly punitive NEP was taken into consideration. And that industry, already lacking as an investment due to that hampered profitability, was hammered again by the draconian nature of the Canadian government trying to decrease foreign ownership. Not only was the depressed industry unprofitable, it became a much riskier investment, which scared away investment. The Oil patch was almost dead thousands lost jobs homes and business's. Alberta lost between $50 billion and $100 billion because of the NEP. Marc Lalonde, Minister of Energy said 'The major factor behind the NEP wasn’t Canadianization or getting more from the industry or even self-sufficiency. The determinant factor was the fiscal imbalance between the provinces and the federal government.... Our proposal was to increase Ottawa’s share appreciably, so that the share of the producing provinces would decline significantly and the industry’s share would decline somewhat.'
  63. Wilma Guywin from Allover Canada, Canada writes: Flander Jones from Canada writes: Wilma Guywin from Allover Canada, Canada writes:when you consider it took Alberta 10 years to recover from that recession. Are you saying that the whole reason for that was NEP and had nothing to do with oil prices at that time? NEP destroyed investment, it was a program that depended on high oil prices to fill ithe federal coffers while reducing the oil companies share by 40% and the provinces share by 20%. In 1983 Instead of finding themselves with a rich industry that they could tax at higher rates, the feds found a depressed industry that was even less attractive after the seemingly punitive NEP was taken into consideration. And that industry, already lacking as an investment due to that hampered profitability, was hammered again by the draconian nature of the Canadian government trying to decrease foreign ownership. Not only was the depressed industry unprofitable, it became a much riskier investment, which scared away investment. The Oil patch was almost dead thousands lost jobs homes and business's. Alberta lost between $50 billion and $100 billion because of the NEP. Marc Lalonde, Minister of Energy said 'The major factor behind the NEP wasn’t Canadianization or getting more from the industry or even self-sufficiency. The determinant factor was the fiscal imbalance between the provinces and the federal government.... Our proposal was to increase Ottawa’s share appreciably, so that the share of the producing provinces would decline significantly and the industry’s share would decline somewhat.'
  64. Dennis sinneD from Calgary, Canada writes:

    Well, my Dad, in the 80's, also lost his job of 20 years due to the 'NEP economic downturn'.

    He didn't qualify for unemployment insurance due to severance.

    He went and found another job...
  65. Garibaldi III from TO from Canada writes: Wilma Guywin from Allover Canada, Canada writes:
    NEP destroyed investment, it was a program that depended on high oil prices to fill ithe federal coffers while reducing the oil companies share by 40% and the provinces share by 20%.
    ------
    Fast forward to 2008 and the politicians learned???

    disclosure... I have vested interest in the oil industry.
    Cheers
  66. Dennis sinneD from Calgary, Canada writes:

    Nevertheless... we need some bright minds, and government support (our tax money), to get Ontario back on track... a better track.

    We're all in this together, friends.
  67. john smith from Halifax, Canada writes: Let's go back a bit. Where did the money come from to set up Ontario as a prosperous province? It was stolen from Nova Scotia, the richest province at the time, at confederation. What did we get in return? Years of being derided as welfare bums who lived from one UI cheque to the next. Were the Ontarians greedy, insensitive or just plain ignorant when they complained about 'their' money being used for equalization payments for Maritimers? Looks like the chickens have come home to roost.

    Of course, Harper is no better. When we get a break by discovering oil and gas the Federal Government takes it all and he has the nerve to refer to a 'culture of defeat'!
  68. l td from Canada writes: THE ONTARIO GOVERNMENT IS KILLING THE PAPER MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY WITH ITS ARTIFICIALLY HIGH ELECTRICITY PRICES AND TRYING TO PIN THE PROBLEM ON THE FEDS !!

    Now they are adding another $11 per Megawatt to the already inflated prices in these hard times AND CHARGING RETROACTIVELY !!

    They just don't get it .. and the only industry they want to save is the auto industry ! No offense to the auto industry, but they have multiple problems and yet no action plan on how to fix the problems other than 'more money'

    At least the remaining forest industry can be saved with a small energy break.

    And what to the Feds propose ? ADDING $50 MILLION WORTH OF MARKETING COMPANIES WHO ARE FRIENDS OF CONSERVATIVES !!!!
    WHAT A STIMULUS - but not for the the families that live in small town Ontario. Just for fun for a month, try paying your bills on $420 per week. (the max benefit for EI)

    What a shame Dalton, on this one you missed it by a kilometer.
  69. Judy Green from Canada writes: It is now time for the provincial Liberals to reverse the legislation, which prevents employers from requring employees 65 or older from retiring. With this economic climate, where there is a shortage of jobs, those jobs remaining should be going to those 65 or younger, NOT to those, who just want to keep working past the retirement age.

    After all, if the employer really needs the employee past age 65, and the employee agrees, then that would still be O.K.
  70. Sue G. from Canada writes: J Canucklehead from Disband the UN, Canada writes: I guess I don't see the point of having a government in Queen's Park, when all the solutions seem to be only obtainable in Ottawa.

    One of the biggest issues to the health of our democracy IMO is the muddied waters, over time, in areas of constitutional jurisdiction. ( eg: many CDN’s think Medicare is federal) Too many elected members ( surprisingly never challenged by the reporting media) demand funding from a higher level of government -with the result of little/no direct accountability to the voters for the performance of that spending.

    My other pet peeve is that the opportunity for provincial gov’ts to emulate the efficiency/effectiveness of business (success and failure) is often lost. Our provincial structure should lead to a healthy competition - test different policies/practices and share the best practices ( most cost effective delivery to citizens) moving the collective forward. A shared central data base ( beyond the tortoise pace of stats can) could be the best “gift” the federal gov’t could set up.
  71. Sweeney Todd from Oilberta, Canada writes: l td from Canada writes: THE ONTARIO GOVERNMENT IS KILLING THE PAPER MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY WITH ITS ARTIFICIALLY HIGH ELECTRICITY PRICES AND TRYING TO PIN THE PROBLEM ON THE FEDS !!

    Now they are adding another $11 per Megawatt to the already inflated prices in these hard times AND CHARGING RETROACTIVELY !!

    ============================================

    Hey - Dalto has to get the $500 million to put still more useless windmill generators from somebody, right?
  72. Alistair McLaughlin from Canada writes: Ontario has been getting screwed for 30 years. However, up until recently, they happily went along with it. Now that they need the money, we're listening to the same old, 'Well, we helped other provinces when they needed it. Now it's our turn.'

    Too bad. Ontarians rolled over and played dead while their fiscal capacity was pillaged by an ever-growing federal government, which handed out the goodies as it saw fit (and still does to this day). And when Alberta complained about being similarly milked, Ontarians were the first to tell them to shut up and to 'do their fair share.' Now we're finding out that we should have been fighting along side Alberta all these years to keep more of the revenue we produce, instead of good-naturedly allowing the federal government to grow on our dime.

    It's easy for the Feds to play Santa when Ontario and Alberta are producing the goods. When those cash cows dry up, who pays for Ontario's rescue? Nobody will. Nobody can.
  73. J. Michael from Canada writes: Here is an interesting clip from Aaron Russo (award winning film producer) on what was really behind the 'Women's Liberation Movement' - that has done more than anything to trash the family:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=lhJCTFZf03A
  74. rick from river city from Canada writes: Alistair McLaughlin from Canada writes: Ontario has been getting screwed for 30 years.

    Pulleezzz, Ontario has been coddled for 30 years with protectionist trade policies, favourable treatment by the federal governments of the day and a long term artifically low dollar. Now it can not compete in the reality of a global economy and lacks any ability, motivation or ambition to make the changes to move into and compete in the global economy. Ontario has no one to blame beyond its own borders for its current circumstance.
  75. The Angry Left from Canada writes: I find it amusing how all of you ignoramouses with your half-baked ideas and opinions on economic matters come on here to berate the failures of the Ontario economy while Ontario still manages to account for nearly 40% of Canada's economic output. The problem with the Ontario economy isn't because of some socialist conspiracy or unions. Ontario has been steadily sold out for years by unfair trade policies and other provinces milking the Ontario cow while starving it as if Ontario is some kind of magical beast that can produce milk from thin-air forever. If Ontario followed the advice and course of action laid out by Conservatives and the yahoos from the West that are heavy on opinions but light on facts, Ontario would be even worse off. Manufacturing requires a more advanced economy, good infrastructure and an educated population to survive and prosper into the future. Let Ontario manufacturing die because of short-sighted stupidity, underpinned by ignorance and indifference, and Canada will be permanantly stunted as a primary-resource economy, completely dependant on raw commodity markets with no value-added and of declining signifigance in the world at large. Other economies continue to support their manufacturing and plan for the future. Canada's current government clings to power by pitting regions against one another, undermines the national-interest to score cheap political points and heap scorn on anyone who doen't share their deranged, discredited neo-con orthodoxy while claiming 'to not be in the business of picking winners and losers'. Good job on giving Ontario that nice boost by saying it's the last place you would invest, Flaherty. I'm sure that will win you a few more votes in northern B.C., but I'm not exactly sure how it bodes for the future of Canada.
  76. Neo/TheoCon Lies - Harper Dysfunctional from Canada writes: rick from river city from Canada writes: Alistair McLaughlin from Canada writes: Ontario has been getting screwed for 30 years. Pulleezzz, Ontario has been coddled for 30 years with protectionist trade policies, favourable treatment by the federal governments of the day and a long term artifically low dollar. Now it can not compete in the reality of a global economy and lacks any ability, motivation or ambition to make the changes to move into and compete in the global economy. Ontario has no one to blame beyond its own borders for its current circumstance. ------------------ Oh, so the Billions that Ontario paid to other provinces over the past 30 years means nothing now is that it? What about the most recent 20 Billion Ontario taxes transferred to the Federal government that left Ontario never to be seen again....to be 'dispersed' to the rest of Canada ? So, now you squeal and scream when Ontario cannot afford making these huge transfer payments in the future due to the downturn of manufacturing sector jobs. Now Alberta separatists are outraged that the money well has gone dry......so you squeal and scream......and you have the audacity to say Ontario has been 'coddled' for years ? So really what makes you so much better? Hypocrisy at its finest. Doncha know.
  77. rick from river city from Canada writes: Angry Left. Get over yourself. Ontario having a smaller role in the overall economy of Canada is not necessarily a bad thing for the other provinces. If, as you said, 'Manufacturing requires a more advanced economy, good infrastructure and an educated population to survive and prosper into the future' then what is Ontario doing to achieve these things? Nothing. I read nothing from McGunity about these three areas other than moaning and groaning that it is up to someone else to come up with the solutions and the resources to achieve them. Yes, Ontario is 40% of economic output but ask yourself what was it 25 years ago, and what will it be 25 years from now? It's current path is pretty clear.
  78. rick from river city from Canada writes: Neo/TheoCon Lies - Harper Dysfunctional from Canada writes: So, now you squeal and scream when Ontario cannot afford making these huge transfer payments in the future due to the downturn of manufacturing sector jobs. Now Alberta separatists are outraged that the money well has gone dry......so you squeal and scream.

    Look around bud. It's Ontario and their politicians doing all the squealing and screaming. Alberta is not whinning half as much as Ontario. Ontario going through a rough time for a year or two is not the end of Canada as we know it.
  79. Neo/TheoCon Lies - Harper Dysfunctional from Canada writes: rick from river city from Canada writes: Neo/TheoCon Lies - Harper Dysfunctional from Canada writes: So, now you squeal and scream when Ontario cannot afford making these huge transfer payments in the future due to the downturn of manufacturing sector jobs. Now Alberta separatists are outraged that the money well has gone dry......so you squeal and scream.

    Look around bud. It's Ontario and their politicians doing all the squealing and screaming. Alberta is not whinning half as much as Ontario. Ontario going through a rough time for a year or two is not the end of Canada as we know it.

    ---------------------
    Face it, Ontario and Quebec are the primary pistons of the economic engine of Canada........get over yourself. If their economies decline, this should cause great concerns to the rest of Canada. If it doesn't concern you, then your alliances are in question, plain and simple.
  80. rick from river city from Canada writes: Neo/TheoCon Lies - Harper Dysfunctional from Canada writes: Ontario and Quebec are the primary pistons of the economic engine of Canada.. If their economies decline, this should cause great concerns to the rest of Canada.

    You are living in the past Lies. Canada (in fact Ontario) is more than manufacturing and certainly the future of the country is much more than the manufacturing that will survive the next five years in Ontario and Quebec. Ontario is becoming more like Quebec every decade and Quebec is no 'primary piston' anymore. Get ready for BC, AB, SASK and NFLD. Canada's economy is evolving, as it should in order to compete in the global market. That Ontario and Quebec are resistant to such changes surprises few as they have had the comfortable chair for many decades.
  81. YRIS SAUNDERS from Canada writes: Neo/TheoCon Lies - Harper Dysfunctional from Canada writes ------------------ What about the most recent 20 Billion Ontario taxes transferred to the Federal government that left Ontario never to be seen again....to be 'dispersed' to the rest of Canada ? So, now you squeal and scream when Ontario cannot afford making these huge transfer payments in the future due to the downturn of manufacturing sector jobs=================== The complete equalization program was aproximately 13 Billion and Alberta paid about 8 billion of that so that means Ontario paid around 5 billion of which all went to Quebec = might neighbourly of you. I don't know why you believe McGuinties lies. Infrastructure at CFB TRENTON FOR THE PAST 2 YEARS AND ON GOING UNTIL 2011 WILL BE AROUND 2 BILLION. Thats more than the rest of the country combined- you'll never see McLier mentioning any of this Federal money providing stimilus in Ontario while the rest of Canada gets peanuts.
  82. D Peters from Alberta, Canada writes: Mark Shore from Ottawa, Canada writes: Three posts before an Albertan whines about the NEP. Sadly that misses the record by two...

    The NEP was a short-lived program three decades ago, and - news flash - Trudeau's been dead for eight years.

    ================================

    The point being Alberta carried that burden alone. We didn't go clamouring to the government as soon as 12 people lost thier job.

    Suck it up Princess.
  83. The Angry Left from Canada writes: rick from river city from Canada writes: If, as you said, 'Manufacturing requires a more advanced economy, good infrastructure and an educated population to survive and prosper into the future' then what is Ontario doing to achieve these things?...Ontario is 40% of economic output but ask yourself what was it 25 years ago, and what will it be 25 years from now? It's current path is pretty clear. > Where are most of the universities in this country located? Which province accounts for Canada's biggest share of R&D? You assert that 'Ontario having a smaller role in the overall economy of Canada is not necessarily a bad thing for the other provinces', but you are wrong, it is a bad thing. You could assert that Ontario having a smaller role in the overall economy would leave other provinces as being better off relative to the other provinces, but the loss of the Ontario tax base would be an overall drain on the entire Canadian economy. This would impact healthcare, education, infrastructure and would have a very real and tangible negative effect on the economic future and potential of the country going forward. But I guess it would make people in Alberta feel better about themselves and play to the neocon base, which completely explains the current PM's obsession with slagging Ontario. Neo-cons hate industrialized manufacturing economies because they are the best means of generating real economic output and wealth, but they also require engaged, forward-thinking and smart government to maintain them. Neocons prefer the hunter-gatherer approach. Forget about producing anything of value or building a better society. Build yourself a castle with high walls, squirrel your nuts away and bark at anyone who threatens to come and tax them. Let the unwashed masses starve on your doorstep - that's conservative ideology at work.
  84. YRIS SAUNDERS from Canada writes: The Angry Left from Canada writes: . Ontario has been steadily sold out for years by unfair trade policies and other provinces milking the Ontario cow while starving it as if Ontario is some kind of magical beast that can produce milk from thin-air forever. Manufacturing requires a more advanced economy, good infrastructure and an educated population to survive and prosper into the future. Let Ontario manufacturing die because of short-sighted stupidity, underpinned by ignorance and indifference, and Canada will be permanantly stunted as a primary-resource economy, completely dependant on raw commodity markets with no value-. I'm sure that will win you a few more votes in northern B.C., but I'm not exactly sure how it bodes for the future of Canada. ============== Kindly explain oh wise one how western Canada has been sucking off the teats of Ontario- should be a creative Fairy tale- Do you think there is no manufacturing in other provinces. People in Northern BC only wish the best for Ontario. They are used to going it alone, accomplishing things without government assistance. Lets hear about those unfair trade polices you are talking about.
  85. North Star from Canada writes: Flaherty called Ontario 'the last place to invest' and he is a former finance minister of the province.
  86. The Angry Left from Canada writes: D Peters from Alberta, Canada writes: The point being Alberta carried that burden alone. We didn't go clamouring to the government as soon as 12 people lost thier job.

    Suck it up Princess.
    >

    But you still go on crying about it to this day. Where do you keep your tierra, princess?
  87. Justin Kase from Victoria, Canada writes: A few weeks after my father retired from an auto parts plant in Ontario, the company told the workers to accept the deal on the table or they would move to the US. The workers voted it down, and voila the company closed down. 300 people out of good paying jobs. Here is the fun part: These workers thought they had won by not signing the contract. With this kind of mentality....well you know the rest. Worked out OK for my dad, he got in his 30 years and now has a good pension.
  88. D Peters from Alberta, Canada writes: The Milch Cow

    http://www.lib.unb.ca/Texts/Acadiensis/2006/images/acad352for02fig2.jpg

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.
  89. The Angry Left from Canada writes: YRIS SAUNDERS from Canada writes: Kindly explain oh wise one how western Canada has been sucking off the teats of Ontario- should be a creative Fairy tale- Do you think there is no manufacturing in other provinces. People in Northern BC only wish the best for Ontario. They are used to going it alone, accomplishing things without government assistance. Lets hear about those unfair trade polices you are talking about.

    >

    Unfair trade policies? How about South Korean and Japanese automakers having unrestricted access to the Canadian auto market while North American automakers are kept out of theirs? What about the scrapping of the auto pact? I'm sure that the tens of billions of tax revenues transferred to other provinces annually could have gone a long way to rebuilding the infrastructure on which our industry depends, along with investing more in education and healthcare. Oh, and as for people in Northern B.C. 'going it alone', I'm sure that the extra EI premiums courtesy of the people of Ontario helped the people of Northern B.C. 'go it alone' a bit easier. Is that wise enough for you, oh illiterate one?
  90. Mark Shore from Ottawa, Canada writes: D Peters, yup, Alberta on the cross... I hear Zimbabweans are starting up a collection plate.

    Your one-party state provincial economists never did bother to figure out a sliding oil and gas royalty scale, did they?

    Not that Ontario's brain trust was much better, but at least the voters here toss out a ruling party once in a while as an example to the other ones.
  91. Wilma Guywin from Allover Canada, Canada writes: Garibaldi III from TO from Canada writes: Wilma Guywin from Allover Canada, Canada writes:
    ------
    Fast forward to 2008 and the politicians learned???

    disclosure... I have vested interest in the oil industry.
    Cheers Garibaldi III from TO from Canada writes: Wilma Guywin from Allover Canada, Canada writes:

    the politicians learned Albertans are an unforgiving lot. My whole point is it took ten years for Alberta to recover after 1983 and we still are peod, how long will Ontario be peod.
  92. Flander Jones from Canada writes: North Star from Canada writes: Flaherty called Ontario 'the last place to invest' and he is a former finance minister of the province.

    Flarherty is an idiot. Ontario has over an 10 million person market place. Easy access to populous segment of the US market, reasonable wages and cheap rent. Compare that to Alberta where rent is through the roof, if you don't pay some wet behind the ears kid $20 bucks an hour they won't show up, and if they do show up they act like they are doing you the biggest favour in the world just being there.
  93. rick from river city from Canada writes: Angry Left... what you should be asking yourself is where will the new universities and colleges be located, where is the R&D going today and in the future. Ontario having the 'most' of everything in the past is well documented but not some God-given right. Healthcare, infrastructure and education are provincial responsibilities so the lack of a new GO transit line in the GTA to Barrie or medicentres and community colleges in Markham is not a national crisis- it's an Ontario issue. This isn't about conservatives and liberals - it's about Canada and its future. If, as you suggest,' industrialized manufacturing economies...are the best means of generating real economic output and wealth, but they also require engaged, forward-thinking and smart government to maintain them' then Ontario has failed miserably all on its own and now blames everyone else. Yea, you apparently don't like conservatives and you don't like people from Alberta. I never said I didn't like Ontario or it's people - just their perception that their problems hold the fate of the country. It just isn't true. Like some you are on here claiming the manufacturing crisis in Ontario is the end of the world as we know it. Now that is political claptrap no matter what party you support.
  94. D Peters from Alberta, Canada writes: Angry Lefty:

    To illustrate a point thats why, are you daft? We got through it with no help from Ottawa and you can too. Plus we have had BSE, softwood lumber tariffs, pine beetles, believe it or not we have the same papermill issues in Alberta as you have out east. But we keep plugging away rather than going to Ottawa on bended knee.

    BTW, the Left is always angry. Harper could start a universal daycare system that is fully funded and you would still be whining. He could put an MRI machine on every street corner and you would still be whining. You could get paid to stay at home and mow the lawn and you demand free gas and beer. And still be angry. Give it a rest.
  95. The Angry Left from Canada writes: The truth is that the NEP had much less of an impact on the Alberta economy than the price of oil. If the price of oil had remained high like when Trudeau brought in the NEP, Alberta and the Alberta oil industry would have done just fine and would have gone on attracting plenty of investment. Turns out the price of oil crashed, as raw commodity prices tend to do, and the Alberta economy went along with it. The NEP just provided a convenient scapegoat for Albertans to blame for all of their woes, which would have been no less severe or taken less time to recover from had they been dealing with the crash in oil prices alone. That's the problem with raw resource-based economies. They are extremely unstable and subject to boom-bust economic cycles which makes any kind of economic or social planning impossible or pointless. Fort Mac may be one of the biggest economic engines west of Ontario, but what's the point in investing into any infrastructure in that third-world-like work-camp when sub-$40/barrel oil for any length of time would turn it into a ghost town. Do you want to buy a quarter-million dollar trailer that will be worthless once all the foriegn investor capital dries up if the price of oil stays low for a few years or Obama decides that Alberta oil is dirty and doesn't want to buy it anymore? That's the real reason that Albertans are terrified at the prospect of the Kyoto accord or carbon trading. At least auto plants can be converted to produce other things. Oilberta is a one-trick pony that would sooner die than adapt to anything and pinning all of Canada's economic hopes on that province would leave Canada in a very precarious position. But it would maybe increase the population of Alberta short-term and improve Steven Harper's electoral chances. Do something for the benefit of the country that would possibly benefit people who aren't your natural political allies or score cheap political points. Which do you think Harper would choose?
  96. YRIS SAUNDERS from Canada writes: The Angry Left from Canada writes: Unfair trade policies? How about South Korean and Japanese automakers having unrestricted access to the Canadian auto market while North American automakers are kept out of theirs? What about the scrapping of the auto pact? I'm sure that the tens of billions of tax revenues transferred to other provinces annually could have gone a long way to rebuilding the infrastructure on which our industry depends, along with investing more in education and healthcare. Oh, and as for people in Northern B.C. 'going it alone', I'm sure that the extra EI premiums courtesy of the people of Ontario helped the people of Northern B.C. 'go it alone' a bit easier. Is that wise enough for you, oh illiterate one? ------------------- Northern BC has had an unemployment rate of 2-3% over the past 7 or 8 years, even now with this slowdown they are still under 5%. The entire equalization was less than 13 Billion of which BC Alberta and Saskatchewan received none of. As an Ontario tax payer I paid no more federal income tax than anyone else in Canada that made the same amount of money. The people on EI paid for it, it is insurance. My Husband has been paying EI premiums for more than 30 years and will never be able to collect but he doesn't whine about it. People in Ontario do not pay extra taxes to support the rest of Canada.
  97. D Peters from Alberta, Canada writes: Mark Shore:

    Your as bad as the Loonie Left there, he can't see the point either. One of two things must be happening, I am not making the point clearly enough, or your both NDP challenged.
  98. rick from river city from Canada writes: YRIS SAUNDERS from Canada ..

    thank you for the 5:54 post.
  99. garlick toast from Canada writes: Ontario's got the biggest makework project ever, the Federal Civil Service.
  100. D Peters from Alberta, Canada writes: Angry Left:

    Initially the tarsands were engineered to break even at $50 a barrel. That was back when they were first getting started. At the time oil was far less but the project went ahead. Over time the technology has certainly improved and at present is about the same input cost as Saudi Oil, and with out the shipping.

    http://www.qvmgroup.com/invest/archives/249

    YRIS...question....why does he pay but can't collect?
  101. Mark S from Calgary, Canada writes: D Peters, your reply to ANGRY LEFT a 5:44 was priceless.

    Thanks for saying it.
  102. Festina Lente from Tampa Bay, United States writes: Yvonne Wackernagel from Woodville: Perhaps if you paid your taxes the 'fuzz' would respond! (joke)

    It is interesting to note that American posters are not 'bad-mouthing' Ontarions nor congratulating them on their projected bad luck. What does this say in contrast to all the 'dudes' who say the US is 'tanking' and the use of other jargon? No more bashing?

    Obviously alot of people on both sides of the border will be getting a wee bit of humbling. It's lessons to be learnt all over again from the 30s.

    Good luck to all.
  103. D Peters from Alberta, Canada writes: Thanks Mark, it had to be said...LOL
  104. Freddie Fender from Canada writes: Neo/TheoCon Lies - Harper Dysfunctional from Canada writes: 'Civil unrest seems to be rearing its head globally, if the conReform continues with it's hopeless track record of inaction or action for the sake of 'appeasing' at the last minute only, civil unrest may start happening here...especially in economically hard hit areas of Canada where people will become destitute, which then leads to desperation. Of course, that would mean nothing to a conReformer would it ? Anyone else have stories to report from their communities.'

    Stop it right now! You are advocating sedition which is a criminal offence. Quit your agitation fanning the flames of non-existent conflict.
  105. bob saunders from Belleville, ON, Canada writes: D Peters from Alberta, Canada writes: Angry Left:

    Initially the tarsands were engineered to break even at $50 a barrel. That was back when they were first getting started. At the time oil was far less but the project went ahead. Over time the technology has certainly improved and at present is about the same input cost as Saudi Oil, and with out the shipping.

    http://www.qvmgroup.com/invest/archives/249

    YRIS...question....why does he pay but can't collect? ---------------- Because when I retire at age 55 and collect a pension I'll not be able to collect EI. If I get another job and get laid off I'll be able to collect. Kind a silly but those are the rules
  106. Tim N from Canada writes:
    rick from river city from Canada writes: . It's Ontario and their politicians doing all the squealing and screaming. Alberta is not whinning half as much as Ontario.

    * Posted 24/01/09 at 4:42 PM EST | Alert an Editor | Link to Comment

    True - but it's not Ontario that threatens to separate if it doesn't get its way..
  107. garlick toast from Canada writes: Freddie Fender from Canada, you sound like the people who say negative press caused the recession.
  108. Cruz Oiler from United States writes: Follow the example of developing countries: No income tax for an average income to run a middle class family. Lets say 20,000 a year? And then tax progressively over 20,000.

    See how many jobs come back overnight. Employers will have to pay a lot less - their profit margin is more. They can invest more and .........
  109. garlick toast from Canada writes: Nice idea, Cruz Oiler. Our tax system creates poverty by taxing minimum wage earners to below the poverty line, a recognizable demarcation which politicians refuse to acknowledge. Leaving money in the weekly paycheque is preferable to rebates when you live from cheque to cheque.
  110. Neo/TheoCon Lies - Harper Dysfunctional from Canada writes: Freddie Fender from Canada writes: Neo/TheoCon Lies - Harper Dysfunctional from Canada writes: 'Civil unrest seems to be rearing its head globally, if the conReform continues with it's hopeless track record of inaction or action for the sake of 'appeasing' at the last minute only, civil unrest may start happening here...especially in economically hard hit areas of Canada where people will become destitute, which then leads to desperation. Of course, that would mean nothing to a conReformer would it ? Anyone else have stories to report from their communities.'

    Stop it right now! You are advocating sedition which is a criminal offence. Quit your agitation fanning the flames of non-existent conflict.

    ------------------------------------------------

    Uh Oh, Hair on fire !! conReform heads are Exploding !!

    KA- BOOM !!!
  111. Nick Be from toronto, Canada writes: Why hasn't McGuinty called for restraint on spending by Governments and Crown Corporations. These organizations continue to spend without regard to the economic situation. Revenues are way down. Where is the money going to come from ? Provide early retirement incentives to workers and remove them from the payrolls. Cut back on unnessary expenditures. Put restraints on wages. Government and Crown Corp continue to negotiate wage increases when NO INCREASES should be had.
  112. narain deshpande from toronto, Canada writes: The poor quality of immigrants to Ontario is responsible. Canada is full of immigrants from Pakistan, MidEast and the technologically-backward Punjab region of India... all with fake or meaningless degrees...... while America's Silicon Valley tends to favor Korean, Taiwanese, and people from advanced states of India.
    Ontario cannot have tech and manufacturing without the best quality immigrants. The best go to America, while we get left with the dregs.
    N Deshpande
    CANADIAN HINDU ADVOCACY
  113. Jim Roxburgh from Bolton ON, Canada writes: What will the neocon Harper tribe do? A disaster waiting to happen next week, 50,000 students out and out of pocket. Where is the political leadership here in Ontario and Federal. The above comments just show how out of touch the politicans are!
  114. Tony . from Waterloo, Canada writes:
    Ontario's economy is suffering but we have mostly ourselves to blame.

    First off, manufacturing in Ontario will die out. We can spend zero dollars trying to 'save' it and have it decline at 10% per year or we could spend $20 billion dollars and have it decline at 8 or 9% per year. Either way it's going to die off and the biggest difference will be how much we hurt every OTHER industry in Ontario in our efforts to prevent the inevitable.

    Along those lines, if Ontario wants jobs the number one thing we must must MUST do is cut our corporate tax rate. Will that save struggling manufacturers that aren't earning profit and don't pay tax? Of course not! As mentioned above, NOTHING will save them, they're already dead.

    What cutting the corporate tax rate WILL do is encourage NEW jobs to replace the manufacturing jobs that are going to be lost.

    Now, that being said, there are some important things the Federal government CAN do:

    - Fix the silly EI scheme. It makes no sense and never did.
    - Work on some key infrastructure, the Windsor bridge being an excellent example
    - Work with the Ontario Provincial government to harmonize programs and reduce paperwork.

    For McGuinty, the key thing to do is to stop whining, to stop wasting our money trying to prevent the inevitable and, most importantly, to find someone, ANYONE, with half a brain when it comes to economics because clearly they don't have such a person yet. Ontario's tax structure is a MESS thanks to 4 successive governments that were either stupid, incompetent, or simply didn't care about improving things. It's WAY overly complicated which helps no one other than tax accounts and government employees.
  115. Tony . from Waterloo, Canada writes:
    I don't get all the anti-Western sentiment from many Ontarians and similar anti-Ontario sentiment from many Westerners. In many ways we are in the same boat.

    The article correctly mentions that the bulk of the net funding for Federal programs comes from 3 provinces, Ontario, Alberta and B.C.

    There are 3 provinces under-represented in the House of Commons, Ontario, Albert and B.C.

    There are 2 provinces that get short-changed on E.I., Ontario and Alberta.

    Fact is that Ontario and the West are, in many ways, fighting for the same sorts of things. Yet all we seem able to do is bicker among ourselves about minor differences (handouts to the auto sector or oil and gas companies, etc.) or things that happened decades ago (NEP, Alberta receiving equalization, etc.). What we really need to be doing is asking the Fed's that ALL Canadians get a fair shake regardless of where we live. Combined Ontario, Alberta and B.C. make up just shy of 60% of the population and more than 65% of the GDP of the country. We need to be sticking together here.
  116. inside view from Canada writes: The real relief we need is for Ontario to take the tax albatross and the overstuffed public service off of taxpayer backs so that they can spend their money on items the economy needs, not civil servant wages that drive up prices, creating poverty. And how many jobs does each civil servant cost the economy anyhow? It must be at least two jobs. Ditto for Ottawa. And the City opf Toronto which could axe its fire department tommorrow by a third or more with the single result of having less hijinx and quieter streets, but still having thousands on hand for the monthly fire of note. And police? doe Toronto, which has a lower crime rate than surorunding municpalities, and economies of distance and scale, really need 50% more police? Why not hire cosmopolitans Torontonians who already kow the area, are not xenophobic, actually care about and support Toronto and who can use their superior educations to work smarter.
    It is obvious thaT WE ALSO NEED A TORONTO PREMIER FOR A CHANGE.
  117. C K from Vancouver, Canada writes: Ah... ever the Canadian way to worry and whinge about the division of the pie and give no attention about how the pie might be expanded. Why are we even a county????
  118. Hap Stokes from Canada writes: john smith from Halifax, Canada writes: Let's go back a bit. Where did the money come from to set up Ontario as a prosperous province? It was stolen from Nova Scotia, the richest province at the time, at confederation.
    -----
    Cheers John
    Also a Bluenoser albeit living in the Rain Forest on the Pacific nowadays.

    What you just wrote is all true, in 1866 Nova Scotia was not only the richest part of BNA, but also most of the New World too. Yet in only 13 years after joining Confederation our beautiful new Canadian Province was enduring a 'MAJOR FAMINE'. A very sad and virtually unknown disgraceful tale.

    Canada robbed our natural trading wealth (of the Seven Seas) and left our traditionally industrious Bluenose forefathers in a starving Atlantic ship wrecked Poor House. Little wonder NS has had THREE elected separatists governments sitting in Halifax. While Quebec has only had TWO (so far).

    I am guilty of stupid historical bickering and now is not the time to bicker. For many of our Fellow Canadians in S.Ont need our help.

    Instead of in-fighting, lets all pull together until Ontario is back on its feet. So much fighting (by us all) about Harper or the Liberals does not help S.Ont.--Pull together and all of us can put our fellow citizens back on their feet with Pride an Honour again.

    Surely we in the west that for most part are still wealthy can lend a hand to those that have helped us so much in the past. Do not rely of Government(s) or the so called EXPERTS for anything. How about taking control of our own destinies for a change and doing it for ourselves. God Bless all you suffering people back in S.Ont.
  119. No Name, No Number from Canada writes: Money is on the way. Harper's got 100 million for forestry. That should cover the hydro bill across the country at the remaining mills for around 3 months. Pathetic.

    This is what we waited 7 weeks for?
  120. D Peters from Alberta, Canada writes: bob saunders from Belleville, ON, Canada: re Insurance

    I can understand your beef, but thats like insuring your car and never having a crash. The insurance was there if you ever needed it.

    When it come to EI, what bugs me is employers using it to 'tide over' seasonal workers. I don't think that is what it was really mean't for but it morphed into it.

    How the heck can a self employed fisherman collect EI? They shouldn't pay it and shouldn't collect it. Thats why they have private insurance for self-employed people. I can't collect EI if I could I would lay myself off every 3 months and go on a holiday.
  121. Hap Stokes from Canada writes: The Angry Left from Canada
    Please A.L. do not swear on this post again.
    That very word Trudeau is enough to have your mouth washed out. Even worse you said that awful 3 letter word NEP.
    Them's fighting words out yonder podner.
  122. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    INNOVATION please!

    We know all the problems, but where are the solutions? It cannot soley be government or the private sector but a collaboration of the two. The government has to 'set the table' and the private sector has to run with the ball.

    Have we ever heard of a joint government-private sector brainstorming summit to discuss what the WORLD will want and need as we move forward? When will the Frank Stronach of Magna and Jim Balsilie of RIM (to name a few) be in the same room with Provincial and Federal people to plan and find SOLUTIONS for the future? ( Canadian green car-IT- R&D-green power...)

    These movers and shakers must be given the tools to follow up on Canadian made ' Manhattan Projects' of our own.

    We mindlessly throw $4 BILLION bailout dollars (and more) at the dinosaur Canadian auto industry which will continue to decline and be left as a satellite at best. Political vote buying band-aids!

    So what does $4 billion buy? That buys 100,000 new jobs at $40,000 per year!

    Most of the money would stay in the economy in the form of direct income tax-GST/PST-other sin taxes-mortgage payments...

    INNOVATION please-It really is the only answer!
  123. JACK V from Canada writes: I feel sorry for every one that has lost their jobs or live savigs and homes to the economy, but theirs no that can say that their own GOVERNMENT TOOK THEIR , JOBS LIVE SAVINGS OR HOMES FROM THEM AND WILL NOT HELP.
  124. Vern McPherson from Canada writes: A good Synday morning to you carrierre. I have to rush this entry before I trod out to synachumple.. LOL !!! 'We mindlessly throw $4 BILLION bailout dollars (and more) at the dinosaur Canadian auto industry which will continue to decline and be left as a satellite at best. Political vote buying band-aids!' I see where GM Canada has refused to draw on any of the money slated for loans ? They state they are content at the moment to work on their \own plan to restructure - although they have not completely ruled out using the credit in future. 'mindlesly throwing money' is hardly accurate in the first place as these 'loans' were to be backed solidly by hard assets and were repayable with strict conditions ??? One I do not understand is Clemen's silly need for pay cuts for workers when that is totally irrelevant - as we both know. I do agree with your call for joint effort between the govt and private operators - especially in these tough times - but that ought to be a process in place for all times. Govt ( all three levels), obviously plays a role by default - see taxation, incentives, income tax, regulations, environmenal etc. I think the call for R&D at Universities and business credits of some description for this effort are sound. That is where we need support and that is where innovation originates.
  125. Vern McPherson from Canada writes:
    carriere a link to the GM point I made above. ...

    http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=1212078
  126. I. Con O'Clast from Canada writes: Like certain American financial institutions, Ontario is too big to fail. The American financial institutions got that way by being ignored by government. Since John A. Macdonald's National Policy through to the auto pact, Ontario got big through preferential federal treatment. Now, we have to make sure it stays big; otherwise, we all fail. A Hobson's Choice!
  127. Vern McPherson from Canada writes:
    Ontario is not going to fail. LOL !!1

    carrierre here is PP presentation that highlights part of what Ontaio has been doing for years now. It is given in PDF format. Ther is much more background at the Ont Govt site that depicts what has been going on for YEARS AND YEARS in terms of innovation, restructuring and that sort of thing on the vehicle manufacturing front.

    http://soma.mcmaster.ca/papers/cds2008/Albright%20-%20Fostering%20Innovation%20and%20Investment%20In%20Ontarios%20Automotive%20Industry.pdf
  128. Vern McPherson from Canada writes:

    More source material relative to your points carrierre.

    These will also help to answer the silly accusations ( by many ill-informed yahoos here - not you ), that Onatario somehow wasn't aware or was somehow planless .. LOL !!

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    http://www.canadabusiness.ca/servlet/ContentServer?cid=1085667969130&lang=en&pagename=CBSC_ON%2Fdisplay&c=GuideFactSheet
  129. Raymond P from Canada writes: So many posts and so few who actually read it before railing against Ontario. During good times province A should pay in to the equalization plan. However when bad times occur they should be entitled to receive equalization payments. This should be the same for all areas of the country.

    However it's the average Ontario worker who paid EI for years so the feds could balance their budget who are being shafted the worst. Since Ontario is 40% of Canada's economy it was Ontario that contributed the majority of the federal surplus the rest of you enjoy so much. Enjoy your petty bitterness against a province on hard times.
  130. Donald Wilson from Canada writes: Alan Simonson - you are correct but wrong - government shouldn't have to tell a successful company what cars to make - but GM and Chrysler to a lesser degree are not very successful . Why is that ? Simply put - they didn't see far enough ahead - not nearly as far as the rest of that industry . But reality is that government does have to tell that industry to reduce exhaust emissions , and to increase safety during accidents , and to not use lead based paints , ti increase fuel mileage , etc etc .
    And now , for political purposes , Harper and McGinty want to pur billions of taxpayer money in the GM and Chrysler business with no assurance that it will ever be paid back . Does anyone want to prop up a business with public money that is so poorly run ? I for one don't . I also don't have a problem with assisting new industry startup and employ the workers from the poor run companies .
  131. Above Centre from Toronto, Canada writes: Ontario has no one to blame but itself. We can't blame the Feds because our MPs largely are the Feds. Ontario and in particular Toronto have simply maintained the status quo politically (read: Liberal) and done little to restructure itself in the face of new global economic realities.

    Ontario is over-unionized (over paid and under productive) has a bloated civil service, and still believes that a guy putting a nut on a bolt is a viable economic future for the province.

    Starting with Toronto we need a real system of government at City Hall as the Mayoral system is a joke (not to mention the Mayor himself). We need per capita funding for everything from infrastructure to immigration. We need to reduce business taxes, harmonize the gst/pst, and gut the civil service. Unions need to be pounded into submission so that they don't do to Ontario what they have done to the auto industry (might be too late already) and we need to stop voting for leftist politicians the likes of Jack Layton and Bob Rae.

    Ontario has to stop being embarrassed about it success (past success), give a big middle finger to Provinces who bash Ontario while bleeding it dry, stop subsidizing unsustainable industries, challenge anyone in a union to get a similar wage out of the private sector and stop whining period.

    Stand up for our Province and get on with making the tough decisions needed to put us back on top.
  132. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Vern McPherson from Canada: Morning Vern:

    Quoting from the GM article. Perhaps what is NOT said could be concerning:

    "GM Canada spokesman Stew Low confirmed that the company will not be drawing on the Canadian loans for now.

    The company "is continuing our restructuring and has initiated more self-help actions to conserve capital, which has allowed us to take the necessary time to work (in the short term) with all our stakeholders to determine how to complete restructuring needs for long-term sustainable viability," Low said
    ---------
    Although he is the Canadian spokeman, nowhere does he mention the Canadian organization. He speaks about "company restructuring"--yet what does that mean?

    Does that mean to potentially close Canadian facilities and combine more in the US plants (or Mexican for all we know..) and try to move jobs south? Also, I don't believe loan details were made public.

    Just a thought---Obama has just arrived and how would a "bringing manufacturing jobs back to the USA" play down south with the Demcrats?

    As for Clement calling for cuts to labour, if direct assembly labour only represents 7% of an auto cost...cut 10%.....
    .
  133. Bob Dylan's Voice from Canada writes: Above Centre,

    Good post. I hope people take your advice.
  134. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Vern McPherson: Thanks for the link to the McMaster presentation by the Ontario Economic Development and Trade office regarding the automotive industry.

    Yes, there are lots of "plans" discussed, yet the presentation was in May 2008 and was probably using info even before that time.

    It is obvious that they foresaw "something" when they used the phrase: "Approximately 133,000 workers in the sector (but faced
    with market downturn and continuing resrtucturing."

    That said, I truly believe they didn't see THIS (masssive demand decreases) coming and lasting for at least 2-3 years.

    A few questions:

    1) Have these plans been revised since May 2008?

    2) Of the 133,000, does this number include the "transplants?"

    3) I don't see GM or Ford going belly up because the US government would never allow those 2 icons to fail--and their business outside NA is doing quite well. As for Chrysler, if they did merge/flop, how many Ont. workers would that be out of the 133,000 mentioned above?

    I still prefer forward looking innovation mentioned above. As stated, that $4 BILLION would create 100,000 new jobs at a $40,000 wage per year.
    .
  135. D Roberts from Canada writes: McGunity and his pal Mayor Miller will continue to destroy Ontario and Toronto. Government-union friendly agendas (continued abolition of private sector competition), with massive and destructive tax increases are making the worst of a bad situation. These two are sooooo dangerous. Though I truly think both will be thrown out of office at the next opportunity. Taxpayers, students, patients, seniors will not recover for many, many decades. Toronto may go on the brink of bankruptcy. Ontario, not far behind (kind of like the last time left wing governments ruled Ontario). Not a coincidence, of course.
  136. Vern McPherson from Canada writes: carrierre the point is that there has been innovation and a partnership between govt and this industry for many many years. This and past Ont GOvts ( I will except the harris years because the American market boomed then for the most part), so this is nothing new. It simply needs to continue and the recent response from govt is the result of drastic market forces fiancial and economic circumstances, lack of credit, no leasing support job loss etc. The other point is forces promoting innovation have been in place for decades and continue as forces for innovation. All that said I do not see how a 7 ot 10 % cut in worker wages has anything whatsoever to do with improving the ultimate saleability of these vehicles. Or any vehicle for that matter. Clement and the COns are way off base as is Dalton if they think this is a factor. Productivity issues can be negotiated and yes some perks may needto be cancelled as a measure to improve profitibility. But a solid manufacturing base and a strong economy are not built on part time workers eaning part time pay. (the foreign makers use part timers extensively at far lower wages than full timers this is a stinky point with any workforce). Howerer, in the final analysis it's the legacy costs that must be addressed and GM for one has addressed these in it's last contract in the US. Perhaps the unionized workforce would pay into a fund - out of their current pay packets - to cover some of these benefits ?? I berlieve Chrysler has some 12,000 employees in Ontario Although I am not certain of that number. 4 billion @ 40 grand for 40,000 - for one year carrierre !!! What about next year ? And check the other link I gave.......
  137. Vern McPherson from Canada writes:
    Look yahoos bashing unions and dalton and Miller is stupid.

    Just get over it. It's silly myth.

    Go with the facts. Unionized workforce is dropping in Ontario as it is in Canada. OK ??? Shut your stupid traps.

    yahoos.

    I hope that bunk will be johnnytory's platform next time because if it is Ontario can return another sensible govt under the libs.
  138. Vern McPherson from Canada writes:

    carrierere why would these strategies be revised since May 08 ?? Other than a tweak her or there ?

    Just how would you revise it ??

    These strategies have been in place and revised for years and years !!!! The plan is a solid one and has worked very well up until the consumer marketplace reacted to the financial crisis.

    Remember we need to get out mindset away form the myth that worker wages and labor costs are the cause of the drop in demand from 16 million vehicles to closer to 11 or 12 million.

    Legacy costs are no myth but as I said they are dealing with them.

    Do check that other link.......
  139. Yvonne Wackernagel from Woodville, Canada writes: Unions are still causing havoc everywhere in this country and particularly here in Ontario when over 200,000 jobs have been lost over the last two years. Half of those people are not unionized and it emphasizes the inequality of the benefit system. I admit that at one time -60 years ago- unions were needed to make sure that workers were treated fairly but things have gone completely crazy and, not only in private enterprise, but more particularly in governments at all levels. We are held hostage to these people who refuse to realize that they are our SERVANTS. I believe that we are ALL servants of each other on this planet in one way or another but we should all do what is responsible at all times. Asking for more and more benefits at a time when the economy is in the gutter is asinine. Last winter we had all our municipal workers stay out on strike for about 12 weeks because they could not win benefits after 65; well, I get a pension from Bay Street and my benefits stopped after I retired at 65 which was mandatory at that time. Right now, I would bring in legislation to invalidate all unions until the economy rebounds.
  140. Joe Black from Saskatoon, Canada writes: "Right now, I would bring in legislation to invalidate all unions until the economy rebounds."

    And I would bring in legislation to invalidate transnational corporations exploitation of Canadian resources without an adequate piece of the pie for the communities effected. We are held hostage by these foreign entities that don't understand that they are our servants! But we can't always get what we want, can we Yvonne?

    People who blame unions for all our economic woes have a very limited understanding of the world.
  141. garlick toast from Canada writes: Our leaders didn't see this mess coming or at least that's how it seems. Those who did, and there are lots, were dismissed as kooks and conspiracy theorists.
    So, what to do? What is the ''mission statement'' of the national gov't.?
    Healthcare and education, both downloaded to the provinces, should be the priorities. A very strong lobby group has kept nurse practitioners on the sidelines. I don't need a doctor to take my blood pressure or give me a flu shot, just as I don't need a licensed machanic to change the oil in my car.
    Like it or not, many children arrive at school unprepared for learning. The most at risk arrive without having had breakfast.On one hand, we have primary school teachers earning 50 grand and, when they can get classroom help, it comes in the form of minimum waged assistants.Where's the middle ground?
    These are solvable problems. It's a question of leadership.
  142. bob london from Canada writes: You wanted Dalton, you screwed the country!!
  143. Flander Jones from Canada writes: bob london from Canada writes: You wanted Dalton, you screwed the country!!

    Huh? Can you please explain that?
  144. M M from Canada, Canada writes: Many people hav condemned capitalism as an corrupt system that should be changed - however the change they suggest usually involves a whole lot of government intervention and programs. First capitalism is readjusting as it is programed to do - the unfortunate thing is that people fundamentally did not understand that. We went way out on the limb and thought the good days would be here forever regardless of the overvalued businesses and unsustainable practices. Ontario (and not just Ontario, many businesses thorughout Canada) did little rational planning and instead developed their entire business plan on selling to overheated US market with a low Canadian dollar - neither of which any business has any control over. And now the cry is out of the federal and/or provincial governments to do something. What I fear is that a whole bunch of government programs will be created and like all good government programs they never go away - even if the problem they were set up to deal with has been solved. EI will be 'readjusted' and in doing so will again be corrupted into anything but a employment insurance program. If people are about to run out of EI - there is welfare or go and take any job that will feed your family (I had to do that during the last recession); if your debts are overwhelmning you then there is bankrupty - and learn a few lessons about living within your means. There are lots of options already in the systems that people don't want to explore, because they lessen your dignity - but calling welfare extended EI benefits doesn't make you any more employable or address the problem that your job was probably never really sustainable anyway.
  145. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Vern writes:.. why would these strategies be revised since May 08 ?? Other than a tweak her or there ?

    ....The plan is a solid one and has worked very well up until the consumer marketplace reacted to the financial crisis.

    ..we need to get out mindset away form the myth that worker wages and labor costs are the cause of the drop in demand from 16 million vehicles to closer to 11 or 12 million.

    Legacy costs are no myth...
    -----
    Vern: the strategies are/were good-no question there, but several new variables have emerged since then. We recognize the NA market universe demand will fall by at least 40% in 2009 and perhaps the same in 2010.

    Then the question becomes, what market share will GM and Chrysler achieve? The other question is will the Detroit 3 consolidate (move) jobs to the US or even Mexico? Once that information is known, we can make better decisions.

    I will agree there is a great media-created "myth" out there about union wages ( $26-28/hour average) and then combining legacy costs (pension-health care...) which makes people believe the floor sweeper is making $72 an hour! Unfortunatley, that has come to be the perception of many.
    .
  146. Mike Sharp from Victoria, Canada writes:

    The unfortunate thing is...
    Flaherty was right.

    Who would want to invest in this basket case?
  147. Mark Watton from Toronto, Canada writes: The implication in this article that EI rates, qualifying periods, etc. vary by province is misleading. The variance in qualification and benefits is not by province, but are by smaller regions and indexed to the local unemployment rate. Parts of rural Ontario have higher unemployment rates than parts of urban Atlantic Canada, for example. It is easier to qualify for EI, and for a longer period in North Bay than it would be in Moncton or St. John's. Areas in Ontario suffering most from the current downturn will, in theory, see their unemployment rate spike, and see a corresponding change in the duration of EI payments available to recipients in those areas. As for the statement that "as Ontario goes, so goes the nation", some of us are a little tired of that cliche. Ontario has led the country in most economic indicators for nearly a century, but there's no royal decree or divine prophecy that suggests it always has to. There's nothing nefarious or unfair about the fact that an increasing amount of Canada's wealth generation now happens to occur elsewhere in the country. In some ways it's a healthy change.
  148. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    M M from Canada: Interesting, calm, common sense post.

    You state, "Many people have condemned capitalism as a corrupt system that should be changed..."

    Compared to the rest of the WORLD, NA capitalism has served the many very well over the years with incredible lifestyles and an opportunity to achieve anything---until the last decade or so.

    Perhaps those many have confused corruption of the several with the system itself. The system failed because of weak oversight and CEO's more concerned about quarterly results and their vesting of stock options, than longer term sustainability and overall care of the North American "worker." and society as a whole.

    ( Also take note of the monster crazy derivative trading, trading in general, hedge funds, junk bonds, subprime, commodities speculation ( oil and food futures...) "creative" accounting practises-Enron-Worldcom to name just a few)

    That said, the blame is not only there, but the shareholders demands of "Profit" at all costs from either pension funds or from individual investments. Where were these same when the outsourcing of manufacturing and service jobs took place during the last 15-20 years?
    .
  149. rick from river city from Canada writes: Mark Watton from Toronto... good post.
  150. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Mark Watton from Toronto,: Good post Mark

    Concerning EI, my understanding is that for qualifications, it all comes down to "Postal Code" verification and not necessarily "Province."

    You state, " Ontario has led the country in most economic indicators for nearly a century, but there's no royal decree or divine prophecy that suggests it always has to. There's nothing nefarious or unfair about the fact that an increasing amount of Canada's wealth generation now happens to occur elsewhere in the country. In some ways it's a healthy change."

    While Ontario should be applauded for their success, many appear to hold ill-feelings and perhaps our politicians are to blame for the regional disparities and alienation.(divide and conquer)

    On the Federal political side of the coin, power is all that ever counts and pandering to central Canada with its vote rich seats was the only way to attain that power ( Ontario/Quebec account for 59% of the HOC seats)

    Next we have the Premiers who ONLY and ALWAYS cared about what's in it for them. Too bad!
    .
  151. Alistair McLaughlin from Canada writes: Ontario, let's just relax. We have willingly bent over and allowed the federal government to rape us for 30 years, all because we saw ourselves as nation builders, and because we seemed to care more about the federal government in Ottawa than the provincial government in Queen's Park. Well, we were wrong. (Actually, YOU were wrong - I've only lived here for four years). And now it is going to hurt. But, lesson learned. When we do get back on track - and we will - it is time to start listening more to our Alberta brethren when they complain of a federal government milking them for the benefit of the rest of the country. Alberta and Ontario are IN THE SAME BOAT in this regard, and it is about time we realized it.

    That means no more Mr. Nice Guy at the next first ministers meetings. No more isolating Alberta when they demand the federal government reduce its scope and its reach, and its capacity to redistribute dollars as it sees fit. Ontario should add its clout to that voice, and tell the other premiers that they'll just have to get used to receiving a little less money from the feds. Ontario should then demand a straight tax-point transfer (perhaps the entire value of a harmonized GST) to ALL provinces, in exchange for reduced transfers. The government that spends the money should be the one that collects the taxes. It will not only benefit Alberta and Ontario, but the "have-not" provinces as well. They will be forced to break from their welfare status, and start making the tough decisions that will transform their economies. I say this coming from a welfare province myself (Manitoba).
  152. D Peters from Alberta, Canada writes: Capitalism....or socialism...which would I prefer? I'd pick capitalism every time. But as a previous poster said it requires over sight, a system of checks and balances to ensure a certain level of fairness to those less able to act for themselves.

    A common mistake we all make is that everyone is equal, but we are not. Some people can only go so and so far up the ladder due to many and various reasons. Some people are just lazy, some people are gung-ho all day long. Does a person deserve to be promoted based soully on time spent on the job? No. Eventually we all rise to our highest level and thats about as far as we can go. We can retrain, pretend to retrain, go through the motions but some people reach a plateau and thats it for them in that trade. They just don't have the skillset to go beyond what they are.

    It doesn't matter if your a post hole digger or a politician, some people WANT to do a job, and THINK they can do a job, but we all have limits.

    A bit off topic but it relates to the union thing I guess.
  153. D Peters from Alberta, Canada writes: I wanted to comment on the so called "equalization payments". After doing some research the idea of equalization is to simply ensure all areas all areas recieve or have access to the same level of government service. So it doesn't really "equalize" anything other than we all have enough burerucrats to go around.
  154. Neo/TheoCon Lies - Harper Dysfunctional from Canada writes: It has been proven that communism did not work, it has now been proven that the right bent ideologies of "de regulation" and self-govern from all these financial and corporate institutes did not work. That is why we are in the predicament we are currently in. The near financial collapse, unregulated food supplies, cutting pollution standards etc.....all due to greed and corruption from an unregulated corporate/government society gone bad.

    Capitalism DOES work, but it requires some regulation. Unregulated capitalism as we are seeing, is more dangerous than Communism.
  155. Fake Name from Canada writes: " Urbanrat Ratus from Windsor, Canada writes: Without Ontario, the feds (all of them) wouldn't have the where with all to buy a vote in another province, especially Quebec who receives the lion's share of what Ontario produces because they whine the loudest."

    So you're basically saying the Quebecois are bad for threatening separation as a way to get money from Ottawa ... and then saying ontario should do the same?

    Well, I agree with you on the first part - separatism as a financial shakedown is a loser's scheme. But I'd rather not sink to that level, thanks all the same.
  156. Fake Name from Canada writes: re: "D Peters from Alberta, Canada writes: It doesn't matter if your a post hole digger or a politician, some people WANT to do a job, and THINK they can do a job, but we all have limits."

    Agreed. I suspect that may stem from an entire generation being fed self-esteem pap to the tune that they could accomplish anything they wanted to. Well, not quite. Try though they might, most people are probably just not up to the task of, say, winning a nobel prize, or making millions by skillfully playing the stock market. A lot of the prestigious accomplishments in society depend on fairly specialized talents that to some extent one either has or doesn't have.

    A corollary of the self-esteem school of child psychology is that many of them end up expecting the sort of lifestyle that's generally only available to the high-performing talented people ... which probably played a role in setting up the current credit problems.
  157. Neo/TheoCon Lies - Harper Dysfunctional from Canada writes: Number of days the 40th Parliament of Canada has sat since June 2008: 12

    Salary earned by Members of Parliament between now and Jan. 26: $22,114.90

    Salary earned by Prime Minister Stephen Harper between now and Jan. 26: $44,229.80
  158. Just In from Canada writes: Commodities and oil prices will be followers, not leaders, of the next economic recovery. That means Canadian economy will not recover until the bulk of value-added industry reinvents itself with next generation products. With 40% population, Ontario will once again shoulder the burden of pulling Canada out of the recession.
  159. D Peters from Alberta, Canada writes: Fake Name:

    There is a bit of a caveat to that statement. Many people simply do not apply themselves sufficiently in time, energy, and self-learning to accomplish the goal they seek. Often one person seems to have things come easily, and a casual onlooker doesn't see the real effort that original person really puts in to achieving thier goals.

    I tell my sons that there is nothing they can't do if they put thier mind to it, but you HAVE TO PUT YOUR MIND TO IT.

    A half baked effort gets a half baked result. Many people with the skills simply do not apply themselves or put thier mind to it.
  160. t. c. mits from toronto, Canada writes: Can Ontario compete in a world economy? Certainly not if they don't even try.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    It could if it wasn't supporting most of Canada.
  161. D Peters from Alberta, Canada writes: Tell me....t.c mits....what exactly does Toronto produce..?
  162. Neo/TheoCon Lies - Harper Dysfunctional from Canada writes: Mimi Williams from Edmonton, Canada writes: In a telling fumble during a Q & A with the Sun, Harper displays that he cannot be trusted:
    http://www.edmontonsun.com/News/Canada/2009/01/22/8116246.html

    ------------------------------------------------

    Mimi linked us to a "must read" article from the Edmonton Sun for anyone who may think harper had a change of heart during the suspension of Parliament during this economic crisis( by his choosing), or that he may now be somewhat more honest and caring.....think again.

    He's changed for certain, he's become an even BIGGER Liar but at the same time, getting notably worse at lying ....he can't even lie well anymore !! He would put Pinocchio’s nose to shame !
  163. Ryan Lemay from Canada writes: Like Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces before, Ontario is finding it's pilliars that they had relied upon crumbling. The era of super large industries making up such a large portion of the economy are coming to an end. In Quebec it was textiles and mass manufacturing, the Atlantic Provinces it was Coal and shipping. The big hungry cold monster called globalization is coming a knocking and the beast is hungry. About to replace well paying auto jobs with higher education jobs for much smaller wages. Globalization doesn't care who or where you are. What ever it is if it can be done by someone else the bankers will bid it to the lowest possible wage if open trade permits. Those willing to work for the lowest possible wages will get the job. The rest are all losers. Don't worry westen Canada the monster will soon get hungry again and have to move to the next piece of territory to feed it's appetite. BC, Sask. Manitoba, and Alberta you'll soon be on the menu. There ain't no sacret Cows here, the monster needs to feed and you won't be forgoten. Those who have the power take it all and the rest will just have to sit there and smile. This is how the world is today. Gov't is now smaller than multinationals. Allowing Corporations to grow into ever larger sizes and keep gov'ts weak with partially true scare tactics. Keep the states divided and allow the powerful to grow, grow, and grow. Allow 'Corporate states' to continue to hold firmly the supposed Democracies that they cherrish and things will continue as they currently are. We need Democracy. We need unity. The World needs democracy to rule!
  164. Hee Hoo Sai from Canada writes: Toronto's squeegee kid industry is next to fall if they don't fix the automotive industry. How the mighty have fallen, and blamed the federal government. Maybe it's time to amalgamate a few provinces GTA fashon, that way there will be considrable saving on not duplicating services, like useless provinial and civic governments.
  165. Sassy Lassie from Canada writes: malcom thomas from False Proifit, Canada writes: Retrain people for what exactly? Diversify into what other well paying jobs? We have no coherent strategy and vision from either the provincial or federal government. Instead of preparing for the future we become a victim of it... End quote------------------------------------------- Bingo Malcom, we need to think like business men/women and roll up our sleeves and get those factories running again. Not producing past products but new products, Europe has built a thriving industry using existing products to build new products. Like crushing old toilets and sinks and creating beautiful counter tops using recycled material. Instead of relying on traditional products we should be recycling existing trash and turning it into new products. Where did the ole Canadian spirit of survival and enterprenuarial spirit go? The Feds should be giving the dreamers and the planners low interest or no interest loans to get those plants and factories humming again even if they are abysmal failures at least we didn't sit on our hands and do nothing. Throwing billions at organizations like OCOA and their ilk is not the answers, the money always goes to the same ole companies who've been propped up for decades. Where'd all the dreamers go?
  166. Alberto Bonini from Ontario, Canada writes: The writing was on the wall a long time ago. I worked in the IT industry and I could see the signs of this gloom 10 years ago. There was a constant push to find or make cheaper services all the time. As a senior adviser in the organization I worked for I argued that it could not continue to get cheaper without something giving way. As those who know, not even the holy grail IT sector has been immune from this blunder. Remember when the tech sector flunked and CEO's/CFO's were playing bad games with corporate finances? An attempt was made to fix their bad habits (aka Sarbanes Oxley) and it apparently worked. Then under continued pressure of globalization they (CEO's) had to turn elsewhere to continue keeping their investors "happy". They found cheaper ways to get products to market aka globalization, the cheapest labourer/worker doing the job. So it continued with an ever so consuming force. At what cost it's now pretty self evident, isn't it? What's at the root of it all? In my opinion, one word, greed. Let me be more specific, have you heard this phrase: "more for less", it it gets used at every corporate budget meeting frequently. The goal, to make higher profits and increase wealth, for some. Not necessarily a bad thing but we're at a point where the model is broke. Money is running out of North America like water over the Niagara Falls and very little is trickling back in. This is the "model" consumer based economy that has been created. For many years I have maintained a view that the current global economic system is unsustainable, it unfortunately appears to be coming true. You can throw all sorts of “green” ideas at trying to fix this problem. However, until government AND corporate leaders take their heads out of the sand and face reality of the situation it's not going to get any better. The large cash bailouts are just getting us deeper into debt. As individuals we need to do our part and demand REAL change, do everything we can to make it happen.

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