GM is closing its Oshawa plant, and to realists like me, it is no surprise.
But the temper tantrums from both the press and the NDP is truly mystifying.
You have an anti-car nation such as Canada, and now you have dopey columnists who think that Canada has what it takes to have its own car-maker.
That ship has sailed a long time ago. That had to be done decades ago.
Canada has always been lazy and resistant to change and innovation, particularly if the innovators happen to be their own citizens who have to be innovation refugees and flee to the US to get a fair shake.
The US have been the future-thinker active doers who have encouraged innovation and progress with their industries, entertainment, and just about everything else.
You have jealous countries try to plant seeds of jealousy to sabotage that one nation by having them make apologies and second-guess themselves, but the bottom line is that Americans would have been wiped off the face of this Earth and we’d be still sitting in the dark with old sexist regimes fighting thousand-year vendettas unless the US wasn’t so focussed on an empirical model of admitting errors, thinking ahead, and improving on the status quo.
Journalism could learn a lot from that spirit of innovation.
And so could Canada.
But it was easier to follow scripts and have the Americans do all of our heavy lifting.
And now we are paying the price.
The NDP babbling about how Doug Ford should have fought for a foreign corporation to stay here is childish. If GM could be induced to stay, they would have put out feelers and gotten money from the province and the country.
They way they did in 2009.
The fact that GM just announced it without prior warning should be a huge clue that they had no intention of staying in Oshawa, and, as Ford said, the ship had sailed.
I remember when my grandmother’s factory closed in Stoney Creek to move to Mexico: the federal Liberals had a program specifically for those woman of a certain age to be given a full pay check until they turned 65, and my grandmother was a recipient. The factory was unionized, and Canada was a different place back then.
There was no sunny-spinning rot back then. The factory was closed, and it was seen as a bad thing.
No new factories sprang up to take over the slack with the same high wages and benefits. The federal and provincial governments still had money to weather out the recession, but we now have both provincial and federal regimes that are broke and in serious debt with a serious depression moving into the nation at an increasingly faster rate.
As the 2009 bailout proved, throwing money at a problem doesn’t solve it.
Our prime minister may have his father’s arrogance, but none of his cunning, and he stepped in dog shit by not taking the US president as a serious adversary, and not heeding him the proper respect. Do not underestimate the US. Do not overestimate Canada’s importance to the world economy.
It is the reason why Canada, more than any other country in the world — needed a strong and realistic press that was empirical, innovative, and not dependent on handouts. Our place is always fragile, and somewhere along the way, we bought our own hype.
The union declaring some sort of war on GM is pure stupidity. It is their company; they were generous enough to give you jobs, and now that they aren’t in the mood, they have the right to up and leave. That this country’s governments and media have been sleepwalking and leeching off the US doesn’t change the reality of how lackadaisical Canada has been to its own self-interests.
Our universities have failed to create innovative spaces because they go for the cheap and worthless “safe spaces”. We are thrilled that our weak currency is now politically correct as we completely ignore that it is going in the wrong direction, and when it is worthless, it won’t matter who is on the currency because it won’t buy you anything, regardless of how you identify yourself.
The job of a government is to ensure strength and prosperity for all of its citizens equally. You don’t pat yourself on the back for doing what you are supposed to do. You are always vigilant and on alert. You don’t babble about straws to save the environment, you ensure people have homes and can pay their bills.
Or the environment they will be living in will be on the streets.
We talk about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, but the government’s job is to always secure the bottom and primitive base of it: the physiological and the safety needs. The love, the esteem, the self-actualization is not their mandate.
We want to sound special and brag, but without the basics, we cannot achieve any of it, nor is it the governments place to meddle in those higher levels.
And Canada’s base has always been on rotten and cracked foundation.
It is starting to cave in, and we have a sheltered generation who are already too arrogant to understand that no one owes them fame and fortune, and think they have suffered because they are frustrated and depressed about their mundaneness.
One day, they will look back and cringe at how they took their lives for granted. It will be too late for them.
Canada is in for a rough ride: not for everyone, of course. Some have already factored in the worst and made plans and counter-plans.
Those pragmatists will weather the storm and thrive.
But to those whose child-like innocence shackles them, the worst is just around the corner and no temper tantrum is going to make things all right for them any time soon…