February 4, 2003

Union leader welcomes auto investment proposal

Toronto, Ontario – Canadian Auto Workers union President Buzz Hargrove has welcomed Ontario
Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty’s plan to institute a strategic investment fund for the auto industry if his party wins the next provincial election.

“This is exactly the direction our governments need to move in, if we are to preserve our share of total investment and jobs in this crucial industry,” Hargrove said. The CAW has been lobbying hard for the federal and Ontario governments to develop a more pro-active and effective auto industry policy, ever since the World Trade Organization overturned the Canada-U.S. Auto Pact.

“Government needs to be there, with both a carrot and a stick, to defend Canadian automotive jobs and win crucial new investments,” Hargrove said. “By proposing a strategic investment fund, and outlining other ways government can use its resources pro-actively to recruit new investment, the Ontario Liberals are recognizing the problem, and moving in the right direction for a solution.”

Hargrove noted also that the federal NDP unanimously adopted a resolution supporting a new Canadian automotive policy at its weekend leadership convention in Toronto, and that many other constituencies have endorsed the idea — including the automotive parts industry, mayors of auto-dependent communities, and numerous analysts and academics.

“There’s now a virtually unanimous recognition that Canada is risking its long record of automotive success and prosperity, if we do not face up to the new economic realities of this industry,” Hargrove said.

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