Kathleen Wynne Provided False Information About Ontario Company in NAFTA Speech, Owner Says
Premier Kathleen Wynne provided false information about an Ontario company in a major NAFTA speech to an audience in the U.S., the owner says.
Byron Nelson, of Leland Industries said Wynne claimed his company put $46 million into Illinois.
“We have not — we have not invested a cent in an expansion there,” Nelson said Monday. “And where they get off, and where a number like that would come from, makes zero sense. And even if we had invested, we would not tell her or anybody.”
Wynne has been touring adjoining U.S. states, on a mission to convince America that NAFTA and free trade benefits both countries.
In Sept. 14 remarks to the Thomas O. Enders Memorial Lecture on U.S.-Canadian Relations, Wynne referred to Leland Industries as she talked about Ontario companies creating jobs south of the border.
“One of them, Leland Industries, invested $46 million in Illinois last year,” she said, according to notes of her speech. “Leland is a family-owned business and a NAFTA success story. The company manufactures bolts, nuts and screws, mostly for agricultural use.”
Nelson said he had no conversation with Wynne, her party or the government prior to the speech.
“And we have and will continue probably to get all sorts of phone calls over this and it’s not good for my industry, for me, if people are out there thinking I’m doing things like this,” he said.
Wynne spokesman Jennifer Beaudry noted that a media release by the Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers in Ontario in December, says that Leland Industries is opening a new plant in Illinois because of high Ontario hydro rates — a message that was repeated in the media.
A global business publication also says that Leland Industries is expanding to Illinois, and provides the investment figure as $46 million, she said.