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Dutch to produce Canada's passport covers

Oct. 24, 2012 at 12:34 PM

OTTAWA, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- A union in Ottawa protested Wednesday that the contract for producing Canadian passport covers has been outsourced to a company in the Netherlands.

The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union called on the federal government to intervene in the matter in which a Canadian company won the contract last year and then announced the new ePassport covers would be manufactured by the Dutch, CTV News reported.

Meanwhile, Columbia Finishing Mills in Cornwall, Ontario, which has been producing the passport covers for about 30 years, said it would lose $1 million and have to lay off staff after losing the contract.

CEPU President Dave Coles said having something uniquely Canadian manufactured elsewhere was "a national embarrassment" and called for government action.

"Canadians see their passport as the symbol of their national identity," Coles said. "It's quite telling that our own government is shipping its production offshore and throwing Canadian workers out of a job."

However, Rick Roth, press secretary for Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, told CTV in an email subcontracting wasn't a government matter.

"Our contract is with Canadian Bank Note Inc.," Roth wrote.

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