Buzz Hargrove is "taken aback" at Jack Layton's call for tough-minded emission and pollution controls in the automobile and industrial sectors. He writes plaintively:
It would have been helpful for you to have first consulted with the CAW on this important question before making your statement. The environment, we'll all agree is an important and pressing matter which must be addressed, but surely not before adequate and thorough dialogue among the stakeholdershas taken place. If this issue is not handled delicately and thoughtfully, we could see thousands of auto workers' jobs destroyed.
I would appreciate you finding time to meet with our union at your earliest convenience so we can have a meaningful discussion on the NDP party's position on the environment and its potential impact on auto workers. By working together, I believe we can find the appropriate measures to protect the environment and safeguard jobs for our members as well.
This letter illustrates two points about today's NDP, one negative, one positive.
1) The first is that Layton may find himself hamstrung between his two traditional constituencies on this issue (Greenies + Unionists), while the Green Party does not have this problem, and can situate itself as the more ideologically "pure" green alternative.
2) Having the CAW "sever ties" to the NDP after the last election was the best thing to happen to the NDP in a long time, as it gives them far more room to maneuver with respect to their old allies. Buzz Hargrove is quickly discovering that while Canadians love polar bears and caribou, they don't really give a shit about auto-workers.
h/t to Taliban Jack.