Stop a Harper Majority, CAW Urges

September 18, 2008, 9:13 AM EST

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The CAW is urging its members to get involved in the federal election campaign. The union is moving ahead with campaign materials that include a series of election town hall meetings, fact sheets and an election factbook on its newly redesigned website.

CAW President Ken Lewenza is urging CAW leadership and membership to get involved in the election campaign and do whatever they can to stop a Stephen Harper Conservative majority government.

Lewenza slammed Harper's record during its two-and-a-half years of minority rule.

"This government has abandoned the manufacturing sector, endorsed the overvalued dollar and the overheated energy boom; dedicated tens of billions of dollars in tax cuts to corporations, which are already enjoying their highest profits in Canadian history; dismantled federal commitments to the Kelowna Accord for aboriginal peoples, a national child care program and the Kyoto Accord; and involved Canadians ever more deeply in the failling war in Afghanistan," Lewenza said.

"And that was with a minority! Just imagine what Canada would look like in just a few years, if Harper wins his quest for a majority," he said.

So far in election campaign stops by Harper in southern Ontario, flag-waving CAW members have repeatedly and noisily raised the issue of Canada's struggling manufacturing sector.

Canada has lost more than 400,000 manufacturing jobs in the last five years because of the high value Canadian dollar, unfair one-way trade deals, and the lack of a comprehensive manufacturing policy by the federal Conservatives.

As part of its campaign, the CAW is planning to hold federal election town hall meetings in a series of southern Ontario cities: September 24 - Oshawa; September 29 - GTA West including Oakville, Mississauga and Brampton; September 30 - Windsor; October 1 - Niagara Region; October 2 - Kitchener and October 6 in London. Although the exact times and locations are not finalized all meetings will be in the late afternoon or early evening. Final times and locations will be posted on the CAW website at

The CAW is also producing an election issues factbook that highlights eight key issues in this election: the manufacturing crisis, poverty, free trade and the dollar, health care, Canadian foreign policy, the environment, equality and pensions. Information sheets on these and other topics will also be available on the CAW website along with more detailed information on key issues as well as other election materials.

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