Amidst all the buzz surrounding controversial abortion activist Dr. Henry Morgantaler's elevation to the Order of Canada, you may have missed the fact that the same honour has been bestowed on long-time Canadian labour leader Basil Hargrove, or 'Buzz' as we know him 'round here. The Order of Canada is Canada's highest civilian honour. The National Post reports that Buzz was given the award for "his contributions as a labour leader who is respected on both sides of the bargaining table, and for his advocacy for equality and human rights in Canada and abroad." Though many will argue Buzz was intensely active in keeping Canadian labour costs artificially high, and thus, shares some responsibility for the current decline of Ontario's automotive sector, Buzz's long and illustrious careers remains one of great renown. From his humble beginnings as a Chrysler line worker, to his soldiering for the then-CAW leader Bob White in the 80s, to obtaining his own mandates as leader since 1992, Buzz was instrumental in every major CAW negotiation for the last twenty years. History will judge Hargrove harshly, though, for the closure of GM-Oshawa and the decline in the CAW's bargaining power during his reign.
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