Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's Almost Like I'm Psychic

With the announcement today by GM that they would be shutting down the Camaro line in Oshawa and moving production to Michigan, I kindly refer you to my uncanny ability to foresee the future. As I have stated a number of times. CAW head Ken Lewenza would raise his arms in VICTORY, claiming to have beaten back the capitalist enemies after completing negotiations with GM, Ford, and Chrysler. Lewenza boasts of having won the war, keeping Big 3 new hires earning more than their UAW counterparts in the U.S.

 Cue the OUTRAGE from Lewenza today when the news that 1000 more Oshawa jobs would be lost, with Michigan picking up the jobs and Camaro production. By putting a higher labour cost on Canadian manufacturing than the U.S., Lewenza has effectively priced us out of jobs. And it's going to get far worse. We've already seen massive job losses here and plant closures, including the Caterpillar plant in London, the consolidated line in Oshawa among others. Watch for Chrysler to announce the closing of the Brampton Assembly Plant in 2015-2016.

 If Lewenza should be outraged, it's with himself and the master bargaining committee, who were all warned by the companies and economists what the outcome would be should they refuse to accept a deal similar to the U.S.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Virtual Reality of The Avro Arrow, The F-35, Bourdeau Industries, And The Canadian Media?

With the whole ongoing Jersey Shore type saga over the governments proposed purchase of F-35 jets, the media has never missed an opportunity to try and make the government look bad. This includes distorting facts, figures, and apparently running stories with little due diligence. Case in point,

 In 2010, all the Canadian media sources ran similar stories like this One by the CBC. That's interesting. I always found the Avro Arrow story very intriguing, as I think most Canadians do. Giving the story validity was the fact retired major general Lewis Mackenzie was quoted in all the stories as endorsing the plan, which was being put forth by a company by the name of Bourdeau Industries. At the time of the story, I did a google search of this company and could find nothing, no website, offices, contact information. Nada, nothing, nilch, zippo. I just kind of forgot about it.

 But with news this week that the government was now considering other jets as possible replacements, I again saw the Avro Arrow, both in the media and comments by people posting on news board comments section. So again I searched Bordeau Industries, and found one thing, this Facebook Page. Again, no website, address, contact info, nothing.

 So I politely asked where this company was located, as I could find nothing at all on it. The "official" replied it it was a registered U.K. House company. After doing some searching, I found a company registered in the U.K. with this name, and the companies business was listed as sports activities, notably F1 racing. So I went back to the Facebook page, and asked where the Canadian offices were located, receiving the "officials" reply they were based in Ottawa, close to the GoC offices. Another search for a company with this name came up fruitless, no address, phone number, contact info whatsoever.

 So again I went back, asking why I could find nothing about this company, and this is the response given:

"  Avro Arrow - Bourdeau Industries (Official) If you are looking for a factory or an office with large staff in Ottawa, sorry to disappoint. One of the reasons we can offer the pricing to GoC guaranteed is we have only what we need for the moment. While some may see this as a weakness in fact it demonstrates that the money will go into the actual program elements, not things we don't need that don't directly support moving forward.The Ottawa presence is a virtual one to eliminate any significant overheads; resources are provided by members of our team from their locations around Canada and northern US. Once a funding source is finalized to move forward, our "concurrency" ramp-up plan will see the factory up and running in two years at the location where the GoC wants the" hub jobs" while the deign updates/upgrades and engine development programs will deliver the infrastructure we need to begin parts manufacture in the same initial two year time frame. And yes, we will follow the Cook-Craggie methods used in the original CF105 program (which, by the way, are in much wider application today.) At that point everything will come under one roof."

 So the Ottawa presence is a virtual one? I guess the same goes for the U.K. as well? From the CBC article, which was included by ALL MEDIA SOURCES: "In an interview on CBC News Network's Power & Politics, MacKenzie said he first approached officials about a year ago about the plan by Bourdeau Industries, which has offices in Canada and the U.K., to redesign the Avro Arrow CF-105 as an alternative to the F-35 stealth fighter jet.

 Maybe it's just me, but something seems a little odd with this whole thing. I'm not making any allegations whatsoever. But given the governments seeming willingness to now look at other jets for procurement, perhaps some in the Canadian media might want to do some investigating into this company and whether the claims made are legit. I mean who wouldn't want a jet built in Canada, by Canadians, supplying Canadian jobs, taxes, and putting us on the world stage in the manufacturing of fighter jets?

 Even if the company is just a virtual presence?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Who's Wrong? Andrew Coyne or Myself?

Seems Andrew Coyne thinks I have been dishonest in criticizing his editorial on the Muskrat Falls loan guarantee by the federal government. He takes issue over at Joanne's BLOG to this comment I left on December 11th at 2:00pm.:

"Coyne lost any credibility by regurgitating Lizzy May’s talking points on the Muskrat Falls loan guarantee. By guaranteeing the loan, the federal government saves NFLD & Labrador roughly $1 billion a year on interest payments. Coyne agrees with May, money should be spent on green farces like solar panels, wind power, shiny ponies and unicorns. Pathetic.".

 Coyne's reply was complete denial: "I have never said or implied any such thing, ever."

 Now the reason I had this in my mind was Coyne's editorial followed comments made by May in the news media as well as Green Party WEBSITE. May stated her static talking point that rather than investing in hydro-electric the government should be looking at things like wind and solar power, already epic failures in Ontario and around the world. And with May's comments fresh in my mind, reading Coyne's editorial less than 24 hours later was an easy link to make. In particular this paragraph:

"Provinces do this all the time, of course, and it’s always a bad idea. It biases investment toward megaprojects, away from smaller scale ventures; towards hydro-electricity, and away from other power sources; towards energy-intensive industries, away from others – in each case, towards projects that would not have been the best choice on their merits, but only because of the subsidy.”

In my eyes, Coyne's position does in fact echo May's. His statement about "away from other power sources". Which power sources? Coal is no longer an option. Nuclear power has far too great a start-up cost and years of construction before being operational. So what options remain? I respect Coyne as a journalist and have for some time. But I think myself and others might be of the opinion the Ottawa Bubble might be overtaking rational thinking on Coyne's part. Lord knows this government deserves ridicule over it's communications strategies and abilities. But Coyne's columns are increasingly taking that anti-Harper tone that has me tuning out most political journalists.

 This posting is not meant to slag Andrew, but merely point out the basis for my original comment on Joanne's blog. Read the links and give me your opinion. If you feel Andrew was correct in his assertion that he hasn't implied or stated green energy was the way to go in Newfoundland than I will offer a heartfelt apology. And it also goes without saying that Andrew should accept the fact he did in fact echo May's talking points if that's what the majority of opinions show.

 Either way, you decide..

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

" The former Liberal government hid more than $60 million in unexpected costs from Parliament

left no written record of important decisions taken by officials, and may have broken numerous contracting rules in its handling of the controversial gun registry, Auditor General Sheila Fraser has found"

 And despite a scathing 2008 REPORT from former AG Sheila Fraser, Liberal leadership candidate Deborah Coyne says no Liberal has to “apologize” for the federal long-gun registry, a political quagmire for the party for more than a decade. Justin Trudeau was right, it was a "failure" Where Trudeau looks the fool is his easily found comments supporting the long-gun registry.

 You know, this Liberal leadership race is gonna be tons of fun. Already JT is flip-flopping on long held Liberal ideology, and now Coyne states Liberals have no reason to apologize for missing money, broken rules, and hiding spending from Parliament and by extension all Canadians.