Mountain MP’s bill would force government to publish information
By Mark Newman, Hamilton Community News Staff
Chris Charlton says the community deserves to know more about U.S. Steel’s purchase of the former Stelco Inc.
The Mountain NDP MP has introduced a bill that would force the Harper government to publish all reports regarding the American steel giant’s 2007 purchase of Stelco as it pertains to the Investment Canada Act.
“U.S. Steel didn’t live up to its production or employment guarantees,” Charlton said. “The people of this community deserve to know what the agreement stipulated and what the government is doing to enforce it.”
Known as the Stelco Inc. Acquisition Act, Charlton’s bill also calls for the publication of all correspondence between the Minister of Industry and U.S. Steel about the enforcement of the agreement.
Charlton said she hopes the bill will shine some light on what the net benefit of U.S. Steel’s purchase of the former Hilton Works and Nanticoke operation was supposed to be as required in the Act.
Workers at both plants were locked out for a number of months over pension plan changes sought by the company.
While private member’s bills from the Opposition usually have little hope of being passed while the government is in a majority situation, Charlton remains optimistic.
She said the fact that the federal government has taken U.S Steel to court shows the Harper Conservatives agree the company has failed to live up to its commitments.
U.S. Steel was handed another defeat on Thursday when the Supreme Court of Canada said it would not hear the company’s challenge of a lower court ruling that upheld the Investment Canada Act as constitutional.
The ruling is expected to clear the way to allow the courts to hear federal government charges that U.S. Steel failed to live up to the employment and production promises it made when it purchased the local steelmaker.
The matter has been before the courts since 2009.