Sunday, December 21, 2008

Canada needs to spend $ on green transportation

News of Canada chipping in $4B to the automakers... has Canada's former UAW honcho Buzz Hargrove worrying that Canada didn't get enough assurances in the deal.

I would think we would want a guarantee of at least an equivalent proportion of the N. American (or world) production as we have been getting up until now...

Left to their own devices the automakers will screw Canada.

Like they discontinued the Camaro just long enough to close the Ste-Therese plant only to revive Camaro a few years later now that Ste. Therese is a shopping centre. So you can't blame Buzz in a way for pushing the envelope - you know full well that there will be forces on the other extreme - saying that they should shut down Canada altogether in order to keep US workers on the job.

Now why can't the government act as quickly to help get some smarter car manufacturing up and running.

Announce one $ billion - half federal half provincial - to be split up among outstanding applicants.

Ensure that a substantial portion of the cash is NOT available to the old line established oil and automotive industry.

Encourage a wide range of related applications - including infrastructure, urban planning, innovative rail, electric and other forms of transport, support for associations, services points, batteries etc...

Bailing out the big 3 is a problem to be pondered. It is the classic lose-lose situation. It is throwing good money after bad in the worst possible way. But, maybe it has to be done in the short term

On the other hand, nurturing new, green, smart, high-tech industry is a no brainer.

Just do it!