February 27, 2003

Ontario government gives auto industry $625 million

Oshawa, Ontario – At a GM auto plant in Oshawa on Wednesday, Ontario Premier Ernie Eves announced his province will provide $625 million to the auto industry over the next five years.

“Our government is committed to keeping Ontario’s economy competitive, which means creating an economic climate that attracts investment and creates jobs,” Eves said.

Canadian Auto Workers union president Buzz Hargrove called the announcement an “important, significant move”. “The fact that the Premier chose an auto assembly facility to make the announcement tells me that this new policy is designed to be more flexible and inclusive of the auto industry,” said Hargrove.

Both Eves and Hargrove called on the federal government to match the funds. “There’s every
argument for the federal government to move ahead now and match the funds – this industry is critical to the economy of Canada and delays could cause unnecessary negative effects in the years to come,” said Hargrove.

DaimlerChrysler recently asked the federal and Ontario governments to provide millions of dollars in incentives before it will committ to new plants in the province. “Chrysler and Ford have no more reasons to delay announcing that they are prepared to move ahead with the future investment plans which were part of our bargaining last fall,” said Hargrove.

Over 300,000 people in Ontario are employed in the auto industry and supplier companies. The CAW represents approximately 85,000 workers in the automotive sector.

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