So, late this afternoon Hizzoner dispatched the usual talking points adjusted for the awkward situation at hand:
We were surprised and concerned to hear about the developments in Canada, and I was dismayed by the way the company treated its employees there. Rest assured, Metro taxpayers are protected. Metro’s agreements with IQT have not been finalized, and no incentive funds have been paid to the company. Consistent with my philosophy on economic development, the incentives offered to IQT are based on the company’s ability to bring jobs to Nashville. If they don’t create jobs here, they don’t get incentives. We are not moving forward on this deal unless we get answers from IQT that satisfy my concerns.
Meanwhile, back in the Great White North, the Mayor of the town IQT abandoned, angry that his constituents may not be able to pay their bills or feed their kids in the near future, intends to phone Nashville:
IQT paid its Oshawa employees $11 an hour but received incentives from the Tennessee government to move.
“How much lower can you go in terms of wages?” Ryan wondered.
Oshawa Mayor John Henry says he is going to phone the mayor of Nashville and the city’s chamber of commerce to tell them what kind of company IQT is.
“This is tragic for the community,” Henry said. “It is the direct jobs at IQT but also all the suppliers. All those people who had a working relationship with this company. Now (IQT workers) are going through the turmoil of trying to recover their money.”
It is probably difficult for even the best PR firm to market hundreds of new jobs a Mayor is going to create when news gets out that they torpedoed even more jobs and pinched wages-already-earned in someone else's community.