Masse to Defence Minister On Need for Trucks to be Built in Canada by Canadians

January 15, 2009

Honourable Peter MacKay
Minister of National Defence
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Dear Minister MacKay,

I am writing today to voice my opposition to your Government’s recent decision to award a $254-million contract to Navistar International’s Texas truck plant for building Canadian trucks.

In light of over 100,000 Canadian jobs being lost over the last two months, I am appalled that the Government chose to award a contract to an American plant, when we have the capabilities in our Chatham, Ontario Navistar Plant to build these vehicles. Further, over 350,000 Canadian manufacturing jobs were lost in the months before this Government admitted there was even an economic meltdown in Canada. It is clear that Canadians need jobs and the Navistar Plant in Chatham is in the process of laying off yet another 700 workers.

If we are going to help Canadians get through this economic crisis, we must act now. Jobs and contracts cannot continually be outsourced and Canadian workers and their families should not have to pay for the mistakes of our government’s decisions. Canadian taxpayers should be able to rest assured knowing that their money is staying in Canada and helping our workers to weather this economic crisis. Without your government looking out for the interests of all hard-working and ordinary Canadians, it will lead to further devastation for Canadians and their families in these dire economic times.

Please advise what steps you are taking to remedy this decision and whether you plan to commit to Canadians to spend their money rightfully on contracts and jobs in Canada. I look forward to your prompt response. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly should you have any questions or concerns.

Yours truly,

Brian Masse MP (Windsor West)
NDP Industry Critic (Including Auto and Border Issues)

CC: Ken Lewenza, National President CAW Canada