CAW Says TTC Decision to Reissue Streetcar Bid Threatens Canadian Jobs

August 28, 2008, 9:05 AM EST

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CAW President Buzz Hargrove said that the Toronto Transit Commission's decision on August 27 to reissue a bid for the City's lucrative $3 billion low-floor streetcar project is disappointing and threatens Canadian jobs across the province and throughout the country.  

"The TTC has taken the wrong step by reopening a bidding process that threatens to move final assembly production of these streetcars to an overseas supplier that would have otherwise have been completed in Ontario," said Hargrove. "This work is of tremendous importance to both the Ontario and Canadian economy."

In 2007, the TTC established a minimum 25% Canadian-content threshold for publicly-funded transit purchases, a policy the union believes doesn't go far enough to ensure maximum benefits to Canada's economy.

Hargrove said he was encouraged by discussion that took place among commissioners regarding expanded Canadian-content levels for future projects.

"It is clear that the Commission understands the importance of strong Canadian-content levels and we're going to ensure this discussion is brought to Toronto City Council."

The Toronto streetcar project was put on hold after the TTC determined that the lead contender, Montreal-based Bombardier, did not meet certain technical requirements, prompting them to reopen the bidding process.

"Our members are more than equipped to meet this project's standards in order to perform final assembly work at the Thunder Bay facility, and any technical requirements could have been worked out between city officials and the company," Hargrove said.

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