A day after a government commissioned report about the auto industry surfaced, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty told reporters that he would seek ways to help assist the auto industry as a thank you to the province’s “…leading goal scorer”.
They put the puck in the net over and over again on behalf of the Ontario economy. We need to find ways to ensure that they remain healthy. Mr. McGuinty made the comments after speaking to a business audience at the Bloomberg Canada Economic Summit in Toronto.
Despite Ontario’s increasingly bleak economic situation (the government has been compelled to make significant budget cuts, and the province’s credit rating has been downgraded by major ratings firms), both Ontario and Canada’s federal government are investigating Ford’s plan to spend $1.2 billion upgrading the Oakville, Ontario assembly plant. Ford wants government assistance for the plan, otherwise they say they won’t go ahead with the upgrades. McGunity credited the resilience of the auto industry during the recession because “…because his government has worked hand in hand with it.”
Meanwhile, the head of the CAW is already going on about their “national auto strategy” as the CAW prepares to enter into contract talks with the OEMs this summer. With plants running at well over capacity across Ontario, the CAW is in a good position to bargain with automakers. Any injection of government funds will happen some time down the road. The CAW negotiations will be the more interesting story in the short term.