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January 11th, 2019

NDP: Trudeau Must Meet with GM and Implement National Auto Strategy

WINDSOR – At a rally in Windsor, overlooking the Detroit River and the General Motors World headquarters, Brian Masse, NDP Innovation, Science and Economic Development Critic, called on the Prime Minister to stand up for workers laid off by GM in Oshawa. Justin Trudeau must immediately meet with GM’s CEO, Mary Barra, and implement the national auto strategy that was delivered a year ago by the government’s own appointed Chair of the Canadian Automotive Partnership Council (CAPC).

“Almost four years ago in January, Trudeau announced his abandonment of our manufacturing industry in Canada by stating his government was ‘transitioning away from manufacturing based employment,” noted Masse. “Well, GM has taken his advice and is closing its Oshawa assembly plant, leaving thousands of workers without their livelihoods.”

Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government cancelled the Automotive Investment Fund and has done nothing to carry out any of the recommendations to protect jobs in Canada from the report of Auto ‘Czar’ Ray Tanguay. Since it was delivered to the Innovation Minister ironically in Detroit at last year’s auto show, it sits waiting while Canadians continue to lose their jobs.

GM claims the need to close the facility is to generate additional resources to invest in innovation, but during the first three quarters of 2018 the company generated $ 6 billion in profits and has received multibillion dollar investments for its autonomous vehicle unit. Yet despite these profits, the company is leaving thousands of Canadian workers without jobs.

“GM is investing in the future, but just not here in Canada. The Prime Minister and the Innovation Minister love to talk about innovation and a high tech economy here but they have done nothing to implement the national auto strategy that would protect jobs and ensure that Canadians actually get new jobs. This is what abandoning our manufacturing industry has done,” stated Masse. “Prime Minister Trudeau campaigned on transitioning away from manufacturing and he is getting his wish leaving our workers in a bad situation, without a job and forced to go on employment insurance.”