Home
 
Choose Your City
Change City

Industries seek aid

Some of Canada’s most powerful industries are urging Ottawa to providefinancial aid, saying they shouldn’t be ignored in the wake of the$10.5-billion auto sector bailout.

Some of Canada’s most powerful industries are urging Ottawa to provide financial aid, saying they shouldn’t be ignored in the wake of the $10.5-billion auto sector bailout.

Both the forestry and fisheries industries have mounted campaigns to grab the government’s attention, but their actions are being met with hesitancy from the feds as well as observers who say the auto bailout has set a dangerous precedent.

Industries around the country could now be aligned to make their own demands for major financial aid, using the auto bailout as a reference point. The argument is the automakers aren’t the only ones in trouble.

Critics say a strong Canadian dollar — which has surged nearly 10 per cent in the past month — and the credit crunch have left many companies struggling to stay afloat.

The forestry sector is headlining the campaign urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper to give more money to their faltering operations.

At first, the forestry sector avoided asking the government for significant financial help, but the industry changed its tune when the U.S. government shovelled massive subsidies, worth as much as $8 billion US, into American pulp companies under an assistance plan.

The Communication, Energy and Paperworkers Union estimates that an equivalent amount for Canada would be around $2 billion.

“When the U.S. government is stepping in, and creating a massive advantage for American jobs, it’s the (Canadian) government’s job to step up to the plate,” said Avrim Lazar, chief executive officer of the Forest Products Association of Canada.

 
Consider AlsoFurther Articles