The pre-election aid is the first direct cash the Conservatives have given to auto makers since taking power and is a bid to quell charges they have done little to salve the pain being felt by Ontario's battered manufacturing sector.And the reaction points out the opportunism of the timing of the announcement:
The campaign-style announcement also helps shore up support for Tory candidates in the Windsor area including area MP Jeff Watson.
Canadian Auto Workers Union president Buzz Hargrove said he was "furious" over the timing of the announcement.Picking and choosing companies to bail out. Capital strategy to deal with Ontario's ongoing struggles in the manufacturing sector. Why Ford and not John Deere? Why not Linamar? 800 people lost their jobs at John Deere yesterday and 800 lost theirs at Linamar in Guelph last week. Must be comforting for those workers to hear this announcement today. What's the strategy for manufacturing losses in Ontario, Jim and Steve? Hello? Is it to point the finger elsewhere and shrug your shoulders? Could be:
He said Harper and his government have "completely ignored the manufacturing sector but now they're calling an election and all of a sudden they want to be seen to be doing something."
"One can't help but be cynical," he added, "but we'll take anything we can get right now to save one job."
Conservative strategist Ryan Sparrow said it's not fair for the opposition to blame the Conservatives for an economic downturn with roots elsewhere.Now that's not economic leadership Canadians can get behind!
"It's very clear Canada's not immune to the economic realities of the world," he said.
The Windsor announcement today is obvious electioneering and the people of Ontario are likely to see it as such.
Update: (4:35 p.m.) A little economic context to the above announcement:
Canadian factories laid off 32,300 people in July, mostly in Ontario, where the automotive industry is based. Employment fell by 55,200 workers, the biggest drop in 17 years.