Industry Canada

Industry Canada

January 11, 2007 11:00 ET

Minister of Industry Visits General Motors Plant in Oshawa

OSHAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 11, 2007) - Today the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry and his Parliamentary Secretary, Colin Carrie, Member of Parliament for Oshawa, visited the General Motors (GM) of Canada Truck Assembly Plant. They also visited the research and development facilities at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) to learn about the joint research initiatives between the school and General Motors.

"Canada's new government is committed to creating an environment for jobs and growth by making our tax system more competitive internationally and by supporting the skilled workforce the auto industry needs," said Minister Bernier. "Advantage Canada sets the conditions for a more productive and competitive business environment by continuing to lower taxes, reducing unnecessary red tape, building a much-needed modern infrastructure and creating the most skilled workforce in the world. Through the Canadian Automotive Partnership Council (CAPC), we will continue our ongoing dialogue with industry to ensure the right economic policies are in place, and that Canada's auto industry continues to thrive."

"Being from Oshawa, I know first-hand how important an auto assembly plant is to the city and its people - and not just for those who work there," said Mr. Carrie. "An auto plant is an incredible source of pride and inspiration for an entire community and for all those who live in it. I am pleased to have the opportunity to be here with the Minister today."

Canada's automotive manufacturing industry is one of the most successful and competitive in the world. It employs over half a million Canadians, with 169 000 employees working in assembly and parts manufacturing, and 335 000 employees working in distribution and aftermarket sales. Canada boasts 12 major assembly plants (with the 13th coming online in 2008), producing 2.6 million cars and light trucks annually. There are also 900 parts plants across Canada. The sector has attracted an annual average of $3.5 billion of new investment over the last 10 years to modernize existing plants and build new facilities.

Oshawa is home to GM Canada's two car plants, the Truck Assembly Plant, the Canadian Regional Engineering Centre, and the Oshawa Metal Centre. These facilities employ 12 000 people and produce 795 000 vehicles annually. The Government of Canada invested $200 million in GM's recent $2.5 billion Project Beacon. This will expand Canadian production capacity, improve production technology, develop "best in class" environmental technology, and introduce flexible manufacturing capability.

Project Beacon will also establish an Automotive Innovation Network to enhance automotive innovation and research and development in the Canadian automotive industry. The Automotive Centre of Excellence at UOIT will serve as the hub for the Automotive Innovation Network.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Maxime Bernier
    Minister of Industry
    Isabelle Fontaine
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations