Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Memo to Ken Lewenza

What a great idea. When the US Military needs to buy 5000 Chrysler mini-vans for their fleet, we'll mothball the Chrysler plant in Windsor and start up production in St. Louis. Since more Chryslers are purchased in the US than Canada, production will remain in St. Louis.

Firm lays off Canadians, sells Ottawa U.S. trucks

Hard-hit Chatham staff 'mad as hell' about deal

"The workers in these facilities absolutely deserve the support of their government as we go through these very difficult and challenging times in our country," said Lewenza's letter.

"It seems the federal government has lost sight that in 2003 they invested in the Chatham facility, by agreeing to provide over $30 million of assistance to Navistar to maintain these important jobs in the community and Ontario," he told MacKay.

"The same holds true in Quebec, where the provincial government has been working closely to ensure that the Paccar facility remains viable."

...."It's clearly unacceptable to use Canadian tax dollars to have these vehicles built in the United States," said Lewenza's letter to MacKay.

"If you are going to try and stimulate the economy in Canada – and specifically, where manufacturing is at an all-time low and job loss is unprecedented – your government must recognize how critical it is to ensure that Canadian tax dollars are spent to put Canadians to work."

In my sarcastic example above, at least the St. Louis facility is already tooled and ready to manufacture the product. What is the cost for tooling either the Chatham or Quebec locations to build this truck? We've been down this road before with the Iltis.

This is about getting the best vehicle for the military at the best price for the taxpayers.


Blogger Don said...

In reading your Blog I am getting the idea that you are linking several distinct points together. First is that through the process of selection the procurement department has chosen a piece of equipment and then secondly where it is made, especially in Canada.

With the first point we can agree that the Iltis was a poor choice period. But we have made good choices such as the Canadair F-86 Sabre, the Lougheed CC-130, the Leopard tanks and the list goes on. Choosing the right product is always hard. You may have chosen right but it is poorly designed or manufactured. We can go through all the scenarios but I think you get it. This point can happen regardless where it is made.

Second point is Canada has designed and/or manufactured some great vehicles or aircraft. The LAVs, the F-86 Sabres and the list goes on. With the LAVs I think we are all current with the story. The Sabres were a real success story, built under licence they were sold abroad in large numbers. With the F-86 Sabre you could easily argue that the Canadian built aircraft was the best version around.
The bottom line is that that the choice of equipment is the most important and the manufacturer builds it to DND specifications assembling it outside or inside Canada. The manufacturers don't choose the equipment that DND buys, DND does. And in the cases that it was a poor choice DND must take responsibility,indeed for the Iltis purchase and credit for the Sabre purchases.

12:41 p.m., January 14, 2009  
Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

By Lewenza's logic I suppose the US shouldn't buy LAV III's made in London, Ontario.

Don: The LAV III is actually a version of the Swiss-designed Mowag Pirhana.


2:33 p.m., January 14, 2009  

Post a Comment

<< Home