The Government of Canada is delivering on its commitment to support the dedicated steel workers, their families and their communities.
Today, Terry Sheehan, MP and the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced an investment of up to $90 million to Algoma Steel, Canada’s second largest integrated steel producer.
This investment will create and maintain 3,050 jobs in Sault Ste. Marie.
These investments include projects to adopt new technologies, improve productivity, and sustain competitiveness in the global market. Improvements will help Algoma Steel modernize its core production assets including the steel rolling and steel plate mills which will position the company to offer a wider range of steel grades and increase production capabilities.
The government’s investment in Algoma Steel, a world-class steel producer, is ensuring the company will continue to provide thousands of Canadians with good, middle-class jobs and remain important contributors to our economy and manufacturing supply chains. By leveraging multiple funding programs, our government is strategically deploying resources to support the steel sector.
Thanks to Canadian Steel and Aluminum industries, North American steel and aluminum products have become more competitive around the world.
However, tariffs imposed on these products by the United States are of great concern for the riding of Sault Ste. Marie. The Canadian steel industry directly employs 23,000 Canadians, and a further 100,000 Canadians have jobs as an indirect result of the steel industry. The Government of Canada is taking action by implementing retaliatory tariffs as a response to the unacceptable tariffs imposed by the U.S. on Canadian Steel and Aluminum.
In mid-July Terry Sheehan, co-chair of the All Party Steel Caucus, travelled to Washington DC where he had meetings to discuss the serious consequences of these tariffs for both Canada and the United States. Mr. Sheehan met with both co-chairs of the Congressional All Party Steel Caucus, Congressman Rick Crawford & Congressman Mike Bost, the Vice- President of the United States Chamber of Commerce, Mr. John Murphy, the Vice-President of the National Association of Manufacturers, Mr. Ken Monahan, as well as other Elected Officials. Mr. Sheehan participated in a round table with American and Canadian politicians where they discussed infrastructure needs in both Canada and the United States, with a special focus on the important role of steel. Mr. Sheehan was able to meet with senior officials at the Canadian Embassy to discuss trade between countries.
Two weeks after his election in 2015, Terry learned that Essar Steel Algoma was going into CCAA (bankruptcy protection). Many of their employees were being laid off and the community was in crisis. Terry was quick to step up and speak for the needs of this industry. The All-Party Steel Caucus was created and he was elected co-chair. The caucus members consulted with steel companies to determine how the federal government could assist them to succeed. They came up with two solutions:
1) Elevate national steel usage and improve trade and
2) The government quickly went to work incorporating into their first budget an initiative to modernize trade legislation. The steel caucus members began to take concrete action to fight steel dumping, and protect steel manufacturers like Algona Steel and Tenaris. Further, the new federal Budget invested in historic infrastructure spending which requires the use of Canadian steel.
Shortly after, Terry spoke in the House of Commons, presenting a statement where he updated the House on the concerning situation of the steel industry in Canada, notably that of Essar Steel and Tenaris. Sheehan spoke of the importance for the riding of Sault Ste. Marie, to work with the government to elevate the conversation on steel. And he did just that. As co-chair of the All- Party Steel Caucus, Terry has continued to fight for Canadian steel workers in the riding of Sault Ste. Marie and across the nation.
Terry’s next intervention in the House of Commons regarding the steel industry was a question. Terry asked the government which measures in Budget 2017 were implemented to strengthen the Canadian steel industry and how those measures were supporting middle class steel workers.
When the U.S proposed tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum were being considered using 232 viewing Canada as a national threat. The Prime Minister and other Liberal members went on a tour of the country to talk with steel workers and further discuss the steel industry. They visited steel towns including: Hamilton, Sault Ste. Marie and Regina. With 85% of Canadian Steel being exported to the United States, concern was growing in the steel industry. On their tour they held round tables and meetings with steel workers and industry leaders to address the concerns. The Prime Minister assured steel workers that the government would support them if tariffs were imposed. When the House of Commons resumed session in Ottawa, Terry asked the Prime Minister to please update the House of Commons and its members on the recent steel industry tour across the country.
On June 1st, 2018 Terry Sheehan placed on notice motion M-193 regarding a National steel procurement strategy. This Motion urges the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates to undertake a study on how to create a National Steel Procurement Strategy. The motion also acknowledges the importance of steel and supports the use of Canadian steel in crown and federal infrastructure.
That same day, Sheehan spoke before the House of Commons regarding the recently “unacceptable” steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by the United States and the retaliatory tariffs that Canada employed to fight back. He encouraged the House to stand up for their workers and to fight against the unfair tariffs.
Not only does Terry stand up for steel in the house but he also celebrates the hard working people in the industry. Terry welcomed Members of the Canadian Steel Producers Association to Parliament Hill for their second annual steel day. He informed the house of the importance if this industry for our economy and acknowledged the middle-class employees in this industry for their work.
In September of 2018, Terry was appointed to the Standing Committee on International Trade where the committee studies issues of international trade policy, Canada’s economic relationship with other countries and Canada’s international competitiveness.
The Liberal MP’s will continue to stand up for middle-class Canadian Steel workers and the Canadian Steel industry.
I will continue to work hard for the Sault and be your voice in Ottawa. Thank you for the privilege of serving the riding of Sault Ste. Marie. Terry Sheehan MP for Sault Ste. Marie
© 2019 Terry Sheehan. All rights reserved.