Ontario – Gravelle Calls For More Canadian Content In Mass Transit Vehicles

Gravelle calls for more Canadian content in mass transit vehicles

MPP Michael Gravelle hopes his new private member’s bill, which lays out rules for Canadian content in mass transit vehicles purchased by Canadian public transportation companies, will help Thunder Bay’s Bombardier plant.

Gravelle introduced the bill Monday at Queen’s Park. The bill calls for a minimum of 60 per cent Canadian content and labour in mass transit vehicles purchased by Ontario public transit companies, such as the Toronto Transit Commission.

It also requires that final assembly of those mass transit vehicles take place in Canada.

“We know that there’s going to be significant mass transit purchases made in the province of Ontario, with the support of the municipal government in Toronto and of the federal government,” said Gravelle, MPP for Thunder Bay-Superior North.

“That means there will be lot of mass transit vehicles that will be available, so by levelling the playing field I think we’ll have an opportunity potentially for Bombardier to receive some significant contracts.”

Bombardier announced earlier this year it would lay off 550 workers at its Thunder Bay plant due to a shortage of work at the facility. – cbc

read full article here

I can understand why everyone thinks this is a great idea. Protecting Canadian jobs from foreign competition sounds great. A no-brainer if you politician.

The problem I see is that there is no real competition for Bombardier that can meet those requirements. Contracts would in all reality be sole-source contracts.  Price to be determined by Bombardier.

Without a competitive bidding process, its guaranteed that the taxpayer will be paying more for the product than necessary. I do not see how that is fiscally responsible. Great for Bombardier. Great for local politicians. Bad for taxpayers.

Canada’s mass transit industry is not large enough to allow governments to demand the Canadian content requirements and ensure a competitive bidding process that taxpayers expect.

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