NDP leader Thomas Mulcair addresses supporters during the NDP Convention 2012 in Hamilton on Sunday April 15, 2012.
Credits: ERNEST DOROSZUK/QMI AGENCY
Newly-minted federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, betting that the buggy whip will make a comeback, wants Ottawa to back off investing in the oilsands and pump more money into manufacturing.
Would these be non-union shops?
Would these include another Caterpillar?
It is difficult enough to buy a Canadian flag in this country, let alone a home appliance, that is not made in China, and tough to talk to a customer-service rep without ending up having a frustrating chat with someone in India.
Put an end to imports from China, for example, and every dollar store in Canada, along with most department stores, would shut down. They could not survive.
As a result, many businesses moved to outsourcing when Buy Canadian became unaffordable patriotism, primarily thanks to unions pricing their services to unaffordable heights. Or they closed down altogether.
Sometimes non-union Canadian trades are able to move in but, generally, outsourcing overseas is often the only option between profit and loss, particularly when unions were pricing their services without any concern for their employer's bottom line.
While waving the orange in Ontario in support of provincial NDP Andrea Horwath over the weekend, Mulcair -- call me "Thomas" in Quebec, but "Tom" in the Rest of Canada -- said he would not backtrack on slamming the Harper government for kissing up to the oilsands at the expense of manufacturers who export most of their products.
It wasn't that long ago, for example, that Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty was forced to apologize to Alberta Premier Alison Redford for his charge that the oilsands boom pushed up the value of the Canadian dollar and sucked the air out of Ontario manufacturing.
"I'm not apologizing to anyone," said Mulcair. "Five hundred thousand good manufacturing jobs have been lost since the Conservatives came to power.
"More than half of those jobs have been lost because we are not internalizing the environmental costs of operating the oilsands." Well, glad that's cleared up.
The job losses in Canada had nothing to do with a global recession. They had nothing to do with wasteful eco-investment or Europe's entitlement philosophy. And they had nothing to do with stubborn unionism pricing itself out of work.
It was all the oilsands' fault.
Nice to know.