Leading by example

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Signs of an economic meltdown are now rippling through the province. The cost of gas has dropped significantly, holiday shopping deals are much more affordable and even food prices are beginning to dip into the realm of savings.
It's of little comfort, however, for some families right here in Cumberland County.
Tough economic times saw Amherst employers C-Vision cut 38 jobs as the global economy plummets and earlier this week it was reported 3,500 Michelin Tire employees in the province are being told to stay home for the holidays, without pay, as the world demand in automotive manufacturing sectors slumps. Other layoffs in the region have been attributed to seasonal patterns but eyebrows rise nonetheless when we hear anyone utter the word "layoff."
Meanwhile, in Ottawa, all is quiet as PM Stephan Harper scurries through his prorogue in hopes of quashing an expected opposition party coalition - a downright dirty case of self-serving politicking in the face of serious national issues.
Without a doubt there is a need for leadership from Ottawa but there is an equal need for homegrown action from our local officials, which we are not seeing yet.
As our eyes cast to the federal playing field for a notion of their game plan there is a real need to examine our backyard standings and come up with an action strategy. It might seem like a futile exercise in the face of a global economic crisis but it is suffice to say it will be the role of the community to support laid off employees awaiting call-backs before any industry bailouts or stimulus becomes available.
Cumberland County's five municipal units need to meet and identify local resources, create networks and offer an effective communication strategy constituents can turn to when the times get tough.
Knowing where to turn will be the greatest stimulus package municiplaities can offer its constituents while we wait for leadership from Ottawa.

Organizations: Michelin Tire

Geographic location: Cumberland County, Ottawa

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