By Phil West
As a youngster, I was born in and grew up in Oshawa, Ontario. A proud community as it should be … with the start of GM as we know it today. Robert Sam McLaughlin teamed up with Buick and later on Chevrolet to make vehicles for North America in the early 1900’s. Oshawa has been a leader in the industry and in a big way shaped and made GM as we know it today. My parents worked for General Motors and that is where they met. My Grandfather proudly sold GM cars and played for the Oshawa Generals. Yes their Junior A Hockey team is named after General Motors … its been the Oshawa Generals since 1937. This plant that they are closing in Oshawa along with the Oshawa truck plant, through the years was one of the highest quality plants General Motors has had, and have won many JD Power awards. It was a shame when the Silverado & Sierra production went south in 2009. The full size truck production is now in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Flint, Michigan and Silao, Mexico. With the classic style Sierras and Silverados from Fort Wayne being finished in Oshawa currently for 2018/2019. GM in Oshawa through the years also lost the Regal and the Camaro, two other well built vehicles. GM also pulled the GMC Terrain from Ingersoll last year, another award winning / high quality plant where they took the production to Mexico for costs savings. November 8, 2018 GM Canada announced and celebrated its 100th anniversary. Now, days later GM is announcing the closure of the Oshawa production plant entirely in late 2019. GM will be putting more than 2500 out of work and more in the community with the trickle down effect. The government through out the years has provided GM assistance to stay competitive, but are now turning their backs on the loyal residents and workers of Oshawa and area, who have supported GM for many, many years. My heart goes out to all those affected in Oshawa and the Durham region, and I hope the residents of Ontario, GM employees, the Union, the Provincial and Federal government make General Motors realize that the Canadian Auto Workers are the best in the world, and that this is a big mistake and persuade GM to do the right thing and keep this award winning plant running.