OSHAWA — You will have to forgive Bill Corrigan for not heading over to Gate 4 of the General Motors plant to mark the final shift and last truck off the famous assembly line.
“It’s just too emotional,” the 62-year-old retired autoworker said Wednesday.
“I would end up in tears.”
The plant, after all, was his work home for 35 years.
“It was my father, John Robert Corrigan’s, place of work for 37 years.”
Needless to say, there are some memories.
“My dad moved to Oshawa from Nova Scotia to work at General Motors and he raised his family here,” said Corrigan. “
I worked there at the same time as him and I raised my six kids in Oshawa.”
They will not be following in their dad and granddad’s footsteps.
“I could see years ago it was going to go this way,” said Bill.
“I knew this plant wasn’t likely going to be here forever.”
They had been building cars, vans and trucks in Oshawa for a century.
“The thing we have always been most proud of is the quality,” said Bill.
“We built the best trucks in the world. I know. I have a GMC Sierra and love it. I helped build it myself. I wasn’t going to buy one that was made at a plant in Mexico.”
So good, he still can’t believe General Motors decided to move on from Oshawa.
“I have to say, as a worker, the company paid us very well and treated us very well,” said Bill.
“But when it comes to this decision the way I see it, it’s corporate greed. This shouldn’t be happening. Sam McLaughlin would be rolling in his grave.”
He even worked with Oshawa’s original car builder’s grandson Paul inside the plant.
“He was a good guy too. I don’t think the McLaughlins should have never let the Americans get their fingers in the pie. They made billions of dollars here and now they want to make even more in Mexico. It doesn’t feel right to me.”
Oshawa, he said, will never be the same.
“This last truck off the line is not going to be as catastrophic to the city with 2,600 full-time workers losing their jobs as it would be if it was 24,000 as it was when I started,” said Bill.
“But there will be an effect. Where are all of those truck drivers going to drop off their parts now? Who around here is going to take them?”
That said, GM Canada Director of Communications Jennifer Wright said that 1,300 of the workers affected are being financially-helped into retirement, 300 workers will continue at a new parts operation that is being built, and the company is assisting the others with finding other skilled employment.
Wright, herself, had raw emotions about the day — she’s worked at GM for 22 years and “started working on the line as well.”
The only thing making this last day bearable is how professional people have been about it.
GM has gone out of its way to wind this down the right way, Unifor’s leadership has been dealing with its members on compassionate grounds because they understand the personal impact, and the workers been highly focused on making sure these final products are held to the same high standards Oshawa has delivered for a century.
It was a nice touch that the very last truck was raffled off to one of the workers who built it — with all proceeds going to charity.
David W. Paterson, vice president of corporate affairs, said that raffle has so far raised over $110,000 for Durham Children’s Aid.
Even though “the new parts operation and test track start-up early next year” will also expand to create even more jobs, he acknowledges “it’s a sad week to be sure.”
A proud week as well.
“I am proud to have worked there,” said Corrigan.
But don’t ask him to see off the final shift.
“It just can’t do it,” he said.
“I won’t be able to keep my composure.”
Proposed Sugary Drink Tax “Regressive,” says Opposition Finance Critic – VOCM
The provincial government’s tax on sugary drinks comes into effect next September, and the minister responsible is pointing to data suggesting that the tax will work in changing people’s habits.
Siobhan Coady points to a study that was done by a British medical journal called The BMJ. She says the study, which focuses on a similar tax in the UK, found that overall sales of soft drinks did not change, nor did share prices and domestic turnover. But what did change was the sugar purchased in those drinks, which Coady says decreased by almost 10 per cent.
PC MHA Tony Wakeham asserts that such taxes do nothing to affect health outcomes, and counters that the study Cody references is completely different from what’s being proposed in this province.
In the UK, he says they were taxing producers to lower the amount of sugar in their products, and not taxing those using the product.
Wakeham says the proposed tax is negative and regressive. He says if Premier Andrew Furey is looking to modify behaviours to create healthy lifestyle changes, it should be based on positive things, not a negative tax.
Sleep Country Canada buys controlling stake in Hush Blankets – CBC.ca
Sleep Country Canada Holdings Inc. has signed a deal to buy Hush Blankets, a direct-to-consumer seller of weighted blankets, pillows, sheets and bed-in-a-box mattresses.
Under the deal, Sleep Country will acquire a 52 per cent stake in Hush for $25 million.
The company has also agreed to buy the other 48 per cent in annual 16 percentage point stake increments starting March 31, 2023, at a price based on the business’s financial performance.
Hush was founded in 2017 by Lior Ohayon and Aaron Spivak and launched a weighted blanket in Canada in 2018.
Sleep Country says Hush will continue to operate as an independent business led by Ohayon and Spivak and a board including senior management from Sleep Country and Hush.
These countries are vaccinating children against COVID-19 – CTV News
Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE have asked U.S. regulators to authorize their COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in children aged 5-11, with an expert panel to the Food and Drug Administration scheduled to meet later this month to review data.
But with many parts of the world still awaiting doses for more vulnerable people, the World Health Organization has urged countries and companies that control the global supply of the vaccines to prioritize supply to COVAX.
The following is a list of some countries that have approved or are considering vaccinating children:
- In June, Denmark said it would offer COVID-19 shots to children aged 12-15 to boost its overall immunity against the virus.
- France has started vaccinating those from 12 years upwards, provided they have parental consent.
- Germany in August agreed to make vaccination available to all children aged 12-17.
- Austria has started vaccinating children aged 12-15.
- Estonia could start vaccinating teenagers by the autumn, public broadcaster ERR reported, citing the head of the government’s COVID-19 council.
- Hungary started vaccinating 16 to 18-year-olds in mid-May, according to Xinhua news agency.
- Italy on May 31 approved extending the use of Pfizer’s vaccine to 12-15 year olds.
- Lithuania’s prime minister said the country could start vaccinating children from age 12 in June, news site Delfi reported.
- Spain begun vaccinating children between 12 and 17 years old around two weeks before the academic year in September, the health minister said.
- Swedish PM says children aged 12-15 will be offered COVID vaccine later this autumn.
- Greece in July said children aged 12-15 could be vaccinated against COVID-19 with Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna shots.
- Finland’s capital Helsinki in June said it will begin giving COVID-19 vaccines to children aged 12 to 15 who are at risk of contracting a severe coronavirus infection.
- Britain’s top medical advisers in September recommended that 12 to 15-year-olds receive a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
- Switzerland approved on June 4 vaccinating 12 to 15-year-olds with Pfizer’s shot, while Moderna’s shot was approved in August for the age group.
- In September, Norway started to offer one dose of Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to children aged 12 to 15
- San Marino has opened vaccinations for children aged 12-15, reported San Marino RTV, citing its Institute for Social Security.
- In August, Israel on Sunday began offering a COVID-19 booster to children as young as 12.
- The United Arab Emirates said in August rolled out China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine to children aged 3-17.
- Indonesia on June 28 recommended China’s Sinovac vaccine for children aged 12-17.
- An advisory committee to the Indian regulator recommended emergency use of Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 shot in the 2 to 18 age-group. The regulator’s nod is awaited.
- New Zealand’s medicines regulator has provisionally approved use of Pfizer’s vaccine for 12-15 year olds, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on June 21.
- Australia said on Sept. 12 it will expand its COVID-19 vaccination drive to include around one million children aged 12-15.
- China on June 5 approved emergency use of Sinovac’s vaccine for those between three and 17.
- Hong Kong said on June 3 it would open its vaccine scheme to children over the age of 12.
- Singapore opened up its vaccination program to adolescents aged 12-18 from June 1.
- Japan on May 28 approved the use of Pfizer’s vaccine for those aged 12 and above.
- The Philippines on May 26 decided to allow the Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine for emergency use in children aged 12-15.
- Jordan in July begun vaccinating children aged 12 years and older against COVID-19.
- The COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer-BioNTech will be the only one used in Mexico for at-risk children aged 12-17.
- Brazil on June 11 approved use of Pfizer’s vaccine for children over 12.
- Chile has approved use of Pfizer’s vaccine for 12 to 16-year-olds.
- Pfizer and BioNTech have asked U.S. regulators to authorize emergency use of their COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. An advisory committee to the FDA will meet later this month to review the data.
- Canada in early May approved use of Pfizer’s vaccine for use in children aged 12-15. The country has fully vaccinated more that 80% of its eligible population ages 12 and over.
- Cuba’s vaccination campaign includes children as young as two.
- South Africa will start vaccinating children between the ages of 12 and 17 next week using the Pfizer vaccine
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