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Gone but never forgotten

george longley cartoon

(Cartoon by George Longley)

By the time many readers see this editorial, the last vehicle will have rolled off the production line at Oshawa’s General Motors assembly plant.

A week before Christmas, more than 2,000 employees are now out of work.

It’s a sombre moment many workers, union leaders and the community at large have had several months to ready themselves for, but like many things of this magnitude, the impact doesn’t really sink in until the moment comes.

The reasons behind General Motors’ decision to close up shop in Oshawa have been well documented over the past year, and don’t really need to be rehashed at this point.

It’s a saddening reality as thousands of people are now out of work, but they should know the City of Oshawa and its community are behind them.

General Motors employees are strong and proud, and they will recover.

Those who are retiring and receiving severance packages should be encouraged to enjoy their new life post-employment, as it is well earned.

It’s a time of change in the City of Oshawa but the facts remain, General Motors’ overwhelming influence on the area’s economy, while still measurable, has been gradually drying up for the past few decades.

We as a city must look towards the future, and not dwell on a decision which has already been made.

Bitterness towards the corporation is understandable, and is something which can’t be lost on General Motors’ top brass.

The corporate brand has taken a hit over the situation, but time heals all wounds.

There have been many causes and organizations General Motors has supported, and while any affinity may been buried deep in the December freeze, there is no denying the impact the relationship between the company and Oshawa has had.

We at The Oshawa Express extend our thanks to those who gave their commitment, blood, sweat and tears at Oshawa’s many variations of assembly plants over the past century.

The contributions you made to the success of not only Oshawa, but Durham Region, Ontario and Canada will not soon be forgotten.