Canadian Manufacturing

Wynne defends Liberal jobs plan in wake of announced plant closure

Magna also said it doubts it will add more plants amid concerns about high hydro rates in Ontario



KINGSTON, Ont.—Premier Kathleen Wynne is defending her jobs plan on the campaign trail after one company announced it was closing a plant in Ontario and another announced it has no plans to build any new plants.

Unilever announced last week it will shutter its food plant in Brampton, Ont., outside Toronto, within two years.

In published reports, auto parts giant Magna International Inc. also said it doubts it will add more plants in Canada amid concerns about high hydro rates in Ontario.

It also expressed concern about the proposed provincial pension plan that’s the centrepiece of the Liberals’ campaign for the June 12 election.

It’s another blow to Ontario’s hard-hit manufacturing and agro-foods sectors.

But Wynne says her plan will bring more investment to the province.

The Liberal leader says her multi-pronged approach, which includes government grants and more money for post-secondary schools, will spur job creation.

She pointed to new Statistics Canada figures that showed Ontario gained 17,600 jobs in April.

However, the unemployment rate climbed to 7.4 per cent from 7.3 per cent in March, still above the national average of 6.9 per cent.

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