Learning from the Oshawa Plant Closure

Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan offered the following remarks on what Alberta policy makers can learn from the Oshawa Plant Closure: 

"We feel the pain of GM auto workers in Oshawa. It’s tough getting a surprise notice about losing your job just weeks before Christmas.

But there’s plenty of pain already here in our own backyard. Alberta oil patch workers have been slashed from payrolls for several years now. Many have exhausted unemployment benefits. New decent-paying jobs have been almost impossible to find. There is no light at the end of our tunnel with bitumen prices hovering at all-time lows, and several export pipelines in limbo.

Rather than play the blame game, let’s learn from the GM experience.

Invest in People: Alberta Liberals believe the future of our province is its people. Government should be investing in them, not putting taxpayers dollars into corporations and expensive high-risk projects. We support putting more money into education and retraining programs. A highly educated, skilled and adaptive workforce is the key to a stronger economy that can keep pace with new technologies and challenges.

Don’t Pick Winners and Losers: Alberta Liberals are not afraid to let markets work. History is littered with failed attempts to pick corporate winners and losers. Governments and taxpayers can pay a huge price with little or no return. Canada and Ontario pumped $10.6 billion into GM, which didn’t buy them any loyalty. Let’s not repeat this mistake."