Hourly labour costs at Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd. (F-N6.84-0.13-1.87%) manufacturing operations are about $16 (U.S.) higher than similar costs at U.S. plants, sources close to the negotiations between the auto maker and the Canadian Auto Workers union said Friday.
Ford’s labour costs in Canada are higher than those anywhere else in the world, the sources said, meaning it’s difficult to make new investment commitments for its operations, such as the new products the CAW is seeking for a plant in St. Thomas, Ont., that is at the top of the endangered list.
“The hyper-competitive nature of this business globally means you just cannot be the highest-cost labour jurisdiction on the planet and expect those kinds of guarantees,” one source familiar with the discussions said.
What’s more likely to transpire first — a new consolidated courthouse for St. Thomas and Elgin or the Leafs returning to respectability?
With their impressive preseason record (faded somewhat by an opening night loss to the Habs, of all teams) the latter may be the safer bet.
That possibility prompted local barrister and solicitor Mervin Riddell to vent his frustration via a letter to City Scope.
“I urge city council to end the impasse with the province and support the construction of a new consolidated court facility,” he writes.
Ah, but here’s the kicker.
“At a location other than the 4 Wellington St. (existing Elgin County courthouse) location. The city’s lack of support for a new location will, in my respectful opinion, only continue the present delay and the absolute embarrassment of the facilities already in place.”
Ottawa’s push to use high-level ethanol fuel in cars is doing little or nothing to cut Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions nor will it, says a government briefing note prepared for Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt and obtained by Canwest News Service.
Moreover, government officials have warned Raitt that giving automakers credits toward new fuel efficiency standards by making cars that can use environmentally friendly E85 fuel will not actually reduce emissions because those cars will never actually use the ‘green’ fuel and will continue to use regular gasoline.