Sunday, November 17, 2013
Stephen Harper, Brian Mulroney, and the Big Tomato
Well there he was the other day, trying to run away from the Senate scandal, while claiming scandalously that his trade deal with the Europeans was bigger than Brian Mulroney's free trade deal.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper touted the benefits of the Canada-EU free trade agreement to a business crowd in Montreal that included the architect of the Canada-U.S. free trade deal negotiated 25 years earlier.
Even though we don't know what's in his new trade deal. Even though the Europeans are secretly bragging that they took Canada to the cleaners. And even though the Euro zone's economy is heading in the same direction as the Titanic.
The euro-zone economy's recovery from its long slump lost its momentum in the third quarter, compounding fears that Europe could get mired in a "lost decade" of stagnation, joblessness and political discontent.
And all I can say is go tell the devastated people of Leamington, Ontario, what free trade has done for them.
H.J. Heinz Co. is closing its plant in Leamington, Ont., a move that will cost 740 jobs and end more than a century of ketchup making in the Southern Ontario town.
Heinz’s cuts underscore the significant pressures facing manufacturing plants in Canada, in part because the loonie has been hovering near parity for the past few years, making exports more expensive.
Or what the so-called Dutch Disease has done to good factory jobs from Atlantic Canada to British Columbia.
Oh boy. You know years ago when I saw the big tomato water tower and the Heinz factory, on a family outing to Point Pelee National Park, I was REALLY happy to know that ketchup came from Canada.
Because I like to put it on everything eh?
And ever since then I haven't even looked at any yummy red stuff unless it was Heinz. But now I'm boycotting it, and all of the company's other products.
Because I'm not just terribly sad for all the poor people who are losing their jobs, after so many years and so much history.
The news was so devastating that a tearful Dennis Jackson, famous for having the world’s largest Heinz memorabilia collection, was too consumed with grief to talk about it Thursday night. “My whole life is Heinz and there’s just nobody that loves Heinz more than I do,” he said. “It just hurt me too much.”
I'm really angry. Angry at the Harper government for posing as economists while killing good jobs all over the country. Angry at companies for whom no amount of profit is ever enough, and who treat their loyal workers like dirt.
When it doesn't have to be that way. Take the example of the John Lewis company, a big retail chain in Britain which is owned by its employees, shares it profits with them, and despite the recession is still incredibly successful.
And whose reputation as a kind and good company shines through in this Christmas commercial...
Isn't that sweet?
Yup. I can't help feeling that when you work for a company whose constitution declares this to be its aim:
"The happiness of all its members, through their worthwhile and satisfying employment in a successful business"
It shows eh?
Oh well, that reminds me...rabbit...rabbit...please don't bring me that humungous alarm clock for Christmas. Because if it went off next to my head in the morning, in the state I'm usually in, I'd probably die of shock.
But a new pair of skates would definitely be appreciated...
Or better still, just bring me a Harper-free Con-free Canada.
And a kinder, gentler country.
Because that's all I really want.
And all I really need....
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