The Conservative government threw a sop to big auto in the dying days of the last Parliament in order to shore up support in the manufacturing heartland around Toronto.
It remains to be seen whether that works to neutralize the impact of Ontario job losses on voter preference for the governing party. Opposition parties estimate more than 200,000 jobs have been lost in the province in recent years.
But some small manufacturers in the region say they're miffed at the Conservative decision to boost carmakers like Ford and GM while ignoring the thousands of small- and medium-sized businesses that have also been hit hard.
Kevin Merritt of Superior Radiant Products in Stoney Creek says his small company has managed to survive the downturn though an emphasis on trading within Canada. It also helps that his products are highly energy efficient — and therefore even more desirable in a period of record-high energy prices.
Merritt believes the small-c conservative approach of business tax cuts, combined with easier-to-access R and D money and loans to small companies are the solution.
But he laments that in this election, information on party platforms is, according to him, hard to find. And he says no candidate from any party has darkened the door of his business since he set up shop over a decade ago.
— Louise Elliott
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- Just a Small Detail
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