Ted Arnott, MPP
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 8, 2013
Loss of Fergus manufacturing jobs raised in Legislature
(Queen’s Park) – Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott brought the plight of the 350 A.O.
Smith employees who will be losing their jobs to the Ontario Legislature on April 8, and
demanded that the Government take effective action to turn around Ontario’s troubled
During Question Period, Mr. Arnott challenged Premier Kathleen Wynne’s statements that jobs
are “trending in the right direction” and that the loss of manufacturing jobs is a “myth.”
“In the past 8 years, Ontario has lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs. Again, last week, the Premier
also suggested the loss of manufacturing jobs was a myth. If the Premier had come to my
Riding last week, she would have discovered that the loss of manufacturing jobs is not a myth. It
is real. How much longer will our manufacturing sector bleed good jobs before this Government
wakes up and takes effective action?” Mr. Arnott asked.
Mr. Arnott also pointed out that for years he has been warning about the troubles facing
Ontario’s manufacturing sector. He reminded the Government about a Private Member’s
Resolution he first tabled in 2005 calling on the Provincial Government to have an all-party
Committee of the Legislature investigate Ontario’s industrial and economic competitiveness and
to develop an action plan to protect manufacturing jobs in the province.
“We cannot take current favourable economic conditions for granted,” Mr. Arnott argued at the
time. “The world isn’t standing still and our manufacturers are facing unprecedented challenges
in the global marketplace. If we aren’t competitive we will lose jobs.”
In spite of the fact that Mr. Arnott’s resolution was passed by the Ontario Legislature on
November 30, 2006, the Government refused to allow the committee hearings to take place.
Since learning the news of the A.O. Smith (formerly GSW, and before that Beatty Bros.) closure,
Mr. Arnott has reached out to Township of Centre Wellington officials, the company and union
representatives, the Premier’s Office, the Offices of the Ministers of Economic Development and
Training, and many others. He also joined Mayor Joanne Ross-Zuj to visit the plant on April 4th,
the day after the announcement.
(Attached: Text of Mr. Arnott’s Questions to the Premier on the Ontario Legislature, April 8,
– 30 –
Ted Arnott, MPP
Text of Mr. Arnott’s questions to the Premier, April 8, 2013
My question is for the Premier.
Last week’s jobs report, showed that in March, we lost 24,000 manufacturing jobs.
And on Friday while visiting our area, when asked about the job losses, the Premier said, and I
quote, “we’re trending in the right direction.” End quote.
I wish she’d been in Fergus last Thursday, as I was, to see the faces of the A.O. Smith (formerly
GSW) workers, 350 of whom had just learned the day before that they were losing their jobs.
My question to the Premier is this: How can she possibly say “we’re trending in the right
direction” when so many people are losing their jobs?
Eight years ago, I stood in this House, again and again, and urged the Government to assign
the Finance Committee the task of undertaking public hearings on the competitiveness issues
facing our manufacturers. I envisioned us working together to develop a plan for action, to
strengthen our industries. But the Government steadfastly refused.
In the past 8 years, Ontario has lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs. Again, last week, the Premier
also suggested the loss of manufacturing jobs was a myth.
If the Premier had come to my Riding last week, she would have discovered that the loss of
manufacturing jobs is not a myth. It is real.
How much longer will our manufacturing sector bleed good jobs before this Government wakes
up and takes effective action?