Ontario Economic Development Minister Michael Bryant pledged the slumping auto sector will get provincial and federal funds to avoid what would be a “doomsday scenario” for the Ontario economy if the Detroit Big Three were to close down. The news comes at the latest economic projections from a provincially commissioned report.Among these numbers, the report projects more than 150,000 immediate job loses, with over a half-a-million job loses over the next five years if Ford, Chrysler, and GM were to go out of business.
“We are talking about CPR, literally, CPR for a company to avoid it from going under and causing a chain of events that would be catastrophic to the economy,” Bryant said.
Bryant also adds that a proposed $3.4-billion rescue package is needed, however, aid won’t come until the U.S. makes its own plans known. Federal Industry Minister Tony Clement said last week that Ottawa and Ontario will provide the equivalent of 20 per cent of whatever emergency aid the Bush administration gives to their companies – a figure proportional to the number of vehicles produced in Canada.
However, the proposed bailout in Ontario has been criticized by some for using taxpayer money to rescue international companies that have failed to manage their own affairs.Bryant said he’s not looking to take an equity position in any of the companies or to take over any abandoned plants.