Canadians feel like jobs are being “robbed from their fingertips,” an emergency committee meeting on Parliament Hill about the NextStar electric vehicle (EV) battery factory in Windsor, Ont., reported Monday. .
Meanwhile, a Windsor-area Liberal MP said opponents were “playing politics”.
Conservative MP Chris Lewis, whose constituency is Essex, which borders Windsor, made the comments about stolen jobs at a meeting of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates (OGGO) in Ottawa.
The meeting lasted two hours but was interrupted due to time constraints. It reopened on Monday evening.
NextStar’s plan to hire 1,600 technicians, including 900 temporary staff, mostly from South Korea, to install and test equipment has been met with opposition from labor unions, the public and some government officials. There is.
The company says these are highly specialized jobs that require specific expertise from Korean workers. And the Liberals claim these foreign-trained workers will pave the way for about 2,500 local jobs.
The committee is hearing several motions regarding the release of documents related to the transaction. Conservatives are demanding that the ruling Liberal Party, automakers Stellantis and LG Energy Solutions reveal details of contracts to build the factory, which received $15 billion in federal and state subsidies.
“To suggest that we won’t publish a book on this…to go against that answer is to create an inequity in the employment of skilled workers,” Lewis said. He said he had discussed the union’s views with the union. To help build a factory.
Lewis said all Canadians, especially those in southwestern Ontario, deserve answers about how their tax dollars are being used when it comes to job creation.
“I think it would be the biggest mistake in the world if you didn’t look at investing.”
Toronto-area Liberal MP Charles Sousa opposed the motion to make the contract available to the public through committee and the House of Commons.
Sousa said doing so could jeopardize the NextStar contract and future investment opportunities in Canada.
“I’m a little shocked that there is an opportunity here to continue to allow foreign direct investment,” he said.
“These are confidential matters, so for us to provide them, to expose them, to put them at risk, would be to jeopardize the very existence of the possibility of these investments in Canada.”
NDP MP Gord, who represents British Columbia Courtney Alberni, said Johns agreed with the Conservatives’ push to reveal the contract, but didn’t think it needed to pass the House of Commons and instead pushed for OGGO. I just had to let it pass.
Johns called it a “failure of leadership” and said questions about allowing foreign workers into the Windsor plant have caused confusion among Canadians and eroded public trust among unions and communities. Ta.
“The national vehicle strategy that the NDP has been calling for for more than 20 years would have provided the transparency and accountability that the government has chosen to ignore.”
“Sunlight is the best disinfectant,” says Scheer.
Saskatchewan Conservative MP Andrew Scheer said if the NextStar deal is as good as the Liberals say it is and as impactful as it is for Canadian workers, the government should want to make the details public.
“Sunlight is the best disinfectant,” said Scheer, who represents jockey Regina Qu’Appelle.
“We want to bring the details of this deal out of the darkness and into the light.”
Scheer said ordering the companies and the government to terminate the contracts would reveal the facts surrounding Stellantis and LG Energy Solutions’ intentions to hire them.
“Having foreign replacement workers come to Canada thanks to taxpayer subsidies is not only good for local workers, but also for all the Canadian families whose taxes pay for this.”
Liberal MP Jilek Kusmierczyk, who represents Windsor-Tecumseh, introduced an amendment to the meeting’s original motion that, if passed, would have ordered the government and NextStar to release details of the contract.
“As Windsorians, this is the most significant investment in the history of our community,” he said. “This is not the place for politics.”
Kusmierczyk said that when he spoke with Unifor Local 444 President Dave Cassidy last week, he emphasized that there would be 2,500 local full-time workers and that jobs would be unionized under that umbrella.