VIDEO: GM is not turning its back on Canada: GM Official

General Motors is not turning its back on Canada according to the company's Vice President of Corporate and Environmental Affairs.

David Paterson told CTV National on Tuesday, that GM wants to be judged by how it takes care of its people.

"What we want to do is provide them a list of very strong benefits to be able to move forward in their next career," he says.

He points out GM still has facilities in Ingersoll and St. Catharines and it wants to shift the focus on transition help for the Oshawa Assembly Plant workers.

"We are not leaving the Canadian market, we are not going anywhere," he says.  "We have a major plant in Ingersoll that produces the Chevrolet Equinox, we have a major plant in St. Catharines that produces engines and produces transmissions, we produce about as much in those facilities as we sell in Canada so we are still building where we sell, we are not going anywhere."

The comments came following a meeting between Unifor and the company on Tuesday.

GM says it has been contacted by more than 20 large employers across Durham region and the GTA interested in hiring GM workers for up to 5,000 positions they plan to fill over the next few years.

Paterson says it is time to focus on transitional strategies.

"Half of those workers will be eligible for a full GM pension and what that means is that they would have $3000 to $4000 a month in support from their pension. In addition to that, they would have a lump sum of anywhere from $50,000 and $60,000, plus they would get a voucher for a new car."

He says the company is also offering to pay for training to help workers find new work beyond GM.

The company announced late in 2018, it was closing the Oshawa Assembly Plant, putting 2,600 workers out of work.