Letter to Prime Minister Harper on Ford's Request for Federal Funding for Essex Engine Plant

January 11, 2008

Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A6

Dear Prime Minister,

I am writing you today in regards to the offer by the Ford Motor Company to re-open the Essex Engine Plant in Windsor, Ontario to produce a new product if the federal and provincial governments provide $ 60 million in assistance. According to media reports the government of Ontario has agreed to fund $ 30 million of the necessary commitment.

I urge the federal government to match the provincial allocation which would revive the facility and put unemployed autoworkers back on the job. The funding from the federal government would represent only ten per cent of the total investment of $ 300 million.

As you are aware your government has failed to introduce a national auto policy that would provide clear practical strategies and initiatives to leverage new investment in this important industry. This lack of public policy has literally cost thousands of good paying jobs for working Canadians and part of the reason Canada’s automotive assembly sector has slipped in world rankings. This opportunity needs immediate action and should serve as a wake up call for your government in this essential economic sector, and to finally establish a comprehensive made-in-Canada auto strategy.

Please feel free to contact me at any time to discuss this case.

Sincerely,

Brian Masse, M. P. (Windsor West)

Cc: Honourable Jim Prentice, M. P.
Minister of Industry

Cc: Mr. Buzz Hargrove
President of Canadian Auto Workers Union

Cc: Mr. Joe Hinrichs
Group Vice-president Global Manufacturing
The Ford Motor Company