Thursday, October 31, 2013

What U.S. Steel Shutdown Reveals About Harper

While all of us continue to be riveted by the ever-deepening pit into which the duplicitous Prime Minister is digging himself over the Duffy scandal, other events are equally revelatory of Stephen Harper's dark psyche. One of them is the announcement by U.S. Steel that it is permanently shuttering its steel-making capacity in Hamilton.

Briefly, in 2007 the Harper government permitted the takeover of the troubled Stelco by U.S. Steel on the promise of certain undertakings, including employment guarantees, which I talked about in previous posts.
Those guarantees were never honoured, and despite the fact that the government took the company to court and won, it essentially gave a free pass to U.S. Steel, which then made new and unfulfilled promises to keep the plant going until 2015 and make capital investments of $50 million by the end of that time.

The charade of co-operation is now at an end, and as Thomas Walkom writes in today's Star,

From the federal government came a deafening silence.

A spokesperson for James Moore, the current industry minister, said only that the government doesn’t involve itself in the day-to-day business decisions of private companies.

And with that kiss-off, a steel-making operation that has defined manufacturing in Canada for 103 years came to an end.

Why should this be of broader concern to Canadians? In my view, it exemplifies the total disregard that the Harper regime has for the social and economic costs involved in industry betrayal. By dismissing such events as merely the result of implacable market forces, we perhaps have a window into what the so-far still secrecy-bound details of CETA have in store for even more employees and Canadian citizens in the near-future.


  1. It is not just the Harper government, rather we have been heading down this path under the guidance of other governments before his! Previous governments have been setting the foundation for what Harper has now allowed to happen, all in the name of the Global Economy! It is a step in the complete marginalization and ultimate control of all citizens on a global scale! Our world will not be run by governments rather by corporations who dictate to these governments which were "democratically" elected by us! In actuality there is no democracy, rather it is government hoodwinking that people believe in that elects these governments. They are, however influenced by corporations and global corporate promises which have no connection to the people, other than the people simply being commodities to be exploited and capitalized on. These corporations running the governments were not elected by the people but they influence the course of people's lives!

    1. That corporations have a disproportionate effect on government, and hence our lives, I do not dispute, Anon. Until the people demand better on a unified and mass scale, our elected 'leaders' will have no incentive to change the path they have taken us down.