MASSE CONDEMNS STIMULUS FUNDS SPENT HIRING OUT-OF-TOWN TRUCKERS: Federal infrastructure money must hire local workers

May 4, 2010

MASSE CONDEMNS STIMULUS FUNDS SPENT HIRING OUT-OF-TOWN TRUCKERS: Federal infrastructure money must hire local workers

OTTAWA, ON- Today, Brian Masse, M. P. (Windsor West) and NDP Industry, Automotive, and Border Critic, condemned the hiring of out-of-town truckers with targeted stimulus infrastructure funding meant to build projects in areas of high unemployment.

“It is outrageous that public money meant to employ local people in areas of high unemployment to build needed infrastructure is instead being spent out-of town companies,” Masse declared. “The whole purpose of the program is being discredited and the claims of the Harper Conservative government are being shown for what they are- empty, misleading, and ineffective.”

Last week local truckers were turned away from hauling gravel for the airport construction project that was funded by a joint federal-provincial stimulus program to assist economic depressed communities impacted with high unemployment. Windsor has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. On Monday they found out their positions were replaced by a Toronto firm with out-of-town truckers. The airport stimulus funding projects include the servicing of lands adjacent to Windsor Airport, upgrades to an operations building and construction of parallel taxiways at the airport, all of which were announced on June 6th, 2009. At the time Conservative M. P. Jeff Watson, (Essex) stated “These projects will put people back to work, they will stimulate the local economy….. It's final proof that Canada no longer ends at London.”

“It appears all the hiring must stop in Toronto based on the latest broken promise. The local workers must be hired back immediately or else one of the primary obligations for these funds is being violated. This sets a bleak precedent on the imminent beginning of the new border/ bridge infrastructure project. We’ve experienced this before when in August, 2008 the Ontario Ministry of Transportation hired a London surveying firm for work along the route to the next border crossing. This is yet another example of why the ‘local workers’ mandate’ that we demanded be codified in all contracts regarding any border-related construction. Or else there will be nothing to stop public tax money being spent to hire workers from not only other cities but rather other countries half way around the globe while the unemployment rate in Windsor remains unchanged,” Masse stated.