A statement from Brian Topp on today’s Electro-Motive announcement.
Caterpillar’s decision to close its plant in London Ontario, throwing over 400 workers out of work is a powerful indictment of the Harper government’s economic agenda.
A hugely profitable company, Caterpillar benefited from millions of dollars in Harper government tax giveaways. But instead of investing in its Canadian operations, Caterpillar chose to provoke a conflict with its Canadian workforce demanding outrageous salary cuts that it knew would be rejected. In the end, Caterpillar took the tax breaks and then shipped out the jobs, all with the able assistance of the Harper Tories.
What is happening in London, Ontario today stands as a powerful testament to the utter failure of right wing, trickle-down economics. For over 20 years, Liberals and Conservatives have argued that tax giveaways to profitable companies like Caterpillar would result in increased investment and good jobs. How wrong they were. What we got instead are growing levels of income inequality, big deficits and governments starved of revenue for vital public investments, like education and training.
Continuing down this path will only lead to more lost jobs, economic insecurity, and growing inequality. That’s why I have made tax fairness a fundamental platform in my leadership campaign. Profitable corporations and the top one per cent must start paying their fair share. And New Democrats must take this argument head on and win it. If we don’t, then the Harper Conservatives and companies like Caterpillar will control Canada’s economic destiny. It’s the job of the New Democratic Party not to let that happen.
Paul Dewar says the Prime Minister must demand that “Caterpillar reverse its decision or return the millions of dollars it took from Canadian tax payers.” Peggy Nash says this is a “a perfect example of just how poorly the Harper Conservative are treating our communities and mismanaging our economy” and she calls on potential supporters to join her in the “fight against precisely this kind of greed.”