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TORONTO, April 14 (Reuters) - Ontario plans to invest C$500 million ($373 million) in its vital auto industry as part of a strategy to lure manufacturing plants to the province, the provincial government said on Wednesday.

The investment strategy is squarely aimed at challenging other regions for auto investment, particularly targeting the southern U.S. states which offer big incentives.

Joseph Cordiano, Ontario's minister of economic development and trade, said the C$500 million could result in up to C$5 billion in investments by automakers and suppliers.

"If we have C$5 billion worth of investment projects proposals that are put on the table, the total maximum that we are investing is C$500 million," Cordiano said from Hamilton. "We're hoping that we will have them very shortly."

The money will be rolled out over five years and is meant to support advanced technical training, improve infrastructure and invest in research.

The auto industry drives Ontario's economic engine, with the sector and related industries employing one in seven Canadians, according to an industry group.

The sector is Canada's biggest exporter, accounting for roughly a quarter of total exports. But there were no new major auto investment announcements in the second half of 2003.

The new investment may have an impact on Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F - News) decision to transform its Oakville assembly plant into a flexible manufacturing facility that can make multiple models.

Full Story HERE
 

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As an Ontario resident I'm not happy about this. Besides the fact that nobody should be handing out money to corporations to set up shop there, the infastructure in Ontario is so far superior to the Southern US states they shouldn't have to regardless.

Especially with other countries (e.g. Canada) being involved I don't understand how it isn't against trade rules for the southern US states to essentially buy jobs! (am I the only onw who recognizes the fundamental crazyness of that?!?!)
 

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Originally posted by stewacide@Apr 15 2004, 07:12 AM
As an Ontario resident I'm not happy about this. Besides the fact that nobody should be handing out money to corporations to set up shop there, the infastructure in Ontario is so far superior to the Southern US states they shouldn't have to regardless.
as an ontario resident i'm very pleased to hear this! if ontario is willing to set up an infrastructure and workforce conducive to excellence in automotive manufacturing, they will be successful in attracting plants and jobs. sounds fair to me!

and you say they "shouldn't have to"?!? just like GM, ford, and DCX shouldn't have to offer thousands in incentives? they shouldn't have to, but they do. how foolish would it be for GM to just drop all incentives and say "well we shouldn't have to"? about as foolish as ontario saying "don't like it here? don't come then!"
 
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