Canadian Manufacturing

Ontario premier, Canadian industry minister to meet with GM

Doug Ford and Navdeep Bains will be in Detroit for the North American International Auto Show

January 14, 2019  The Canadian Press


DETROIT—A spokeswoman for Ontario’s premier says Doug Ford will use a trip to a Detroit auto show to meet with executives from General Motors and several other automakers today.

Ivana Yelich says Ford will not try to push GM to reconsider shuttering its plant in Oshawa, Ont., at year’s end when he meets with them at the North American International Auto Show.

She says the company has made it “abundantly clear that the decision is final,” so Ford will instead discuss opportunities to support the workers who will be out of a job once the facility closes down.

GM announced in December that it would shut down operations at the plant by the end of 2019, leaving around 2,600 workers without a job.


A source says the premier will also meet today with the workers’ union president, Jerry Dias of Unifor.

Dias has been outspoken in his opposition to Ford, saying in December that “if he’s not prepared to fight he should just be quiet and get out of the way” when it comes to GM.

Also, Canada’s industry minister will meet with General Motors CEO Mary Barra today to urge her to find a solution for the auto giant’s soon-to-be-shuttered Oshawa plant.

A spokeswoman for Navdeep Bains says he will sit down with Barra at the Detroit Auto Show.

Dani Keenan says he intends to discuss any possible options for keeping the factory open.

At the time of the announcement, provincial and federal leaders alike conceded the futility of trying to persuade the automaker to keep its Oshawa plant running beyond the end of 2019.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he told Barra that he was deeply disappointed about the closure and insisted his government would do everything possible to help laid-off auto employees and their families.