VIDEO: MP Calls for 'Strings Attached' to Federal Funding Deals

am800-news-nemak-plant-west-windsor-2015

Essex New Democrat MP Tracey Ramsey is speaking out about Nemak's decision to close its Windsor plant in mid 2020.

Ramsey says she's shocked by the company's decision, as are many of Windsor's community leaders. 

As heard on AM800 news on Tuesday, the federal government invested $3-million in an engineering program at Nemak in January 2017.

The goal was to develop a fully automated casting process for aluminium engine blocks that will be lighter and stronger than what's being made now.

Ramsey says it's unacceptable the government gave the company funding and now it has decided to pull its operation from the city.

She feels if a company receives funding from the government, there needs to be commitments put in place.

"We cannot continue to put that hand out, taxpayers hand out to keep jobs in our community when quite frankly that's not one of the stipulations of receiving that money," says Ramsey.  "Basically these corporations are taking the Canadian taxpayer and the government for a ride using that money and then just turning around and walking completely out of the country."

She says the funding was taxpayers money.

"We continue to see these companies who receive federal funding and basically with no strings attached, no commitments to jobs in our community and they turn around and walk out the door and there's no re-payment of this money," says Ramsey.  "There's no commitment to jobs or to our community, they just walk out the door with this money and it's unacceptable that this practice continues."

Ramsey says the Liberals similar to the Conservatives invest in companies with no strings attached.

"This is taxpayer money and if you're going to invest in a company in our community, it's not that we're opposed to that but there needs to be an expectation of jobs staying in the community, a commitment of time, a commitment towards that product," says Ramsey.

Windsor West NDP MP Brian Masse is echoing Ramsey's comments saying there needs to be measures in place when handing out cheques.

"Trying to write a cheque and then walk away and hope for the best, it doesn't work well that way especially with the changing industry," says Masse. 

Ramsey says she has talked to officials at Unifor Local 200 and will work with them and the membership.

270 people will be out of work when the plant closes.