MASSE & COMARTIN DEMAND IMMEDIATE ACTION TO RE-OPEN FORD ENGINE PLANT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 15, 2008

MASSE & COMARTIN DEMAND IMMEDIATE ACTION TO RE-OPEN FORD ENGINE PLANT

No need to repeat the loss of the Sprinter Van Plant due to federal inaction

WINDSOR, ON – NDP Transport, Auto policy, and Border Critic, Brian Masse M. P. (Windsor West), along with NDP Justice Critic Joe Comartin M. P. (Windsor-Tecumseh) demanded the federal government take action to re-open the Ford Motor Company’s Essex Engine Plant.

“It is an outrage that the Prime Minister has not responded to the opportunity to re-open the plant and put unemployed autoworkers back on the job. The company has played its part. The union has gone above and beyond to make this work. Even the province has stepped up to the table. But the Prime Minister has been silent. And his Industry Minister makes matter worse by claiming that ‘new auto investment is not one of the main issues on the burner,’ Masse exclaimed, “This going to turn into another fiasco like the loss of the Sprinter Van Plant.”

In 2003 Windsor and Canada lost the opportunity to have a Chrysler plant that would have built 100, 000 Sprinter Vans per year and create 1000 new jobs. Many industry sources claimed at the time that the loss was due to the federal government not providing the necessary support the company requested.

“At a time when the Harper conservatives waste tens of millions of dollars a year on the flawed ‘feebate’ program that even the head of General Motors today has called a complete disaster. When they continue to subsidize oil sands production by hundreds of millions of dollars a year and yet today the president of Chrysler has said that Canada has a big gap compared to other places as a location for auto investment. Even he said Canada needs an auto policy,” stated Comartin. The comments from Rick Wagoner, C.E. O. of General Motors, and Tom LaSorda, vice-chair and president of Chrysler, were made at the Detroit International Auto show.

“At least the liberals just ignored the auto industry. Harper’s conservatives seem to purposely try to injure the most important manufacturing industry in the country with their flawed programs. This opportunity to invest in the auto sector in Windsor is their chance to stop the harm,“ Masse stated.

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