Liberal auto policy remains stalled

Liberal auto policy remains stalled

Windsor - The announcement today by the Ontario government to commit $100 million in financial aid to Ford Canada in Oakville is a welcome step to maintaining competitiveness in the Canadian auto industry but highlights the Federal Liberals inability to act to ensure that Canadian jobs in the sector are protected, said Brian Masse, MP for Windsor West and NDP Industry Critic.

" Like most Liberal promises since the first Red Book in 1993, we've seen no action to develop a national framework for the auto industry, and we've seen production shift south of our border. The fact is that you cannot implement policies that affect the auto industry, without affecting the national economy. The Auto Pact, officially died with this Liberal governments signing of NAFTA over 10 years ago, but Minister Emerson is only promising an "interim report" sometime this fall " said Masse.

Since 1990 only 1 of the 18 new assembly plants built or announced in North America have been in Canada; the recent trend has seen new plants being built in the American South and in some cases Canadian production lines moving as far south as Mexico. Auto manufacturing supports 150,000 direct jobs and each auto job leads to 7 spin-off jobs. One of the biggest trends in the worldwide industry is for greener cars, yet Canadians are still unable to buy a made in Canada hybrid or other "greener" car.

"The fact is the Liberals have had a decade to gear up and are still stalled," said Masse.

"We don't need an interim report or yet another vague and easy to break promise. We need an auto policy that makes specific financial commitments and is a positive strategy that ensures that Canada will be competitive in the new emerging trends in auto manufacturing, like greener cars, that allows and encourages consumers to make better choices about the cars that they drive and to support Canadian auto jobs."