NDP Push for Auto Strategy to Protect Auto Jobs

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The three NDP incumbents in Windsor-Essex are pushing for a National Auto Strategy to protect auto jobs. 

Speaking along the Windsor waterfront with several unifor leaders behind them Monday morning, the NDP's Cheryl Hardcastle, Brian Masse and Tracey Ramsey argue the Liberals and Conservatives have led the manufacturing industry down.

They say the NDP would establish the strategy would attract and retain investments.  

It includes creating an $300-million Auto Innovation Fund, which provides repayable and non-repayable contributions to automotive companies, and increase vehicle purchasing incentives for zero-emission made-in-Canada vehicles. 

"We are actually going to change it and look at the innovation fund here with regards to vehicle purchasing, to focus on domestic purchasing, increasing the incentives because it is ludicrious that a vehicle, this many passenger vehicles would be let off the list and we are going to make sure it is going to get the incentives necessary," says Masse. 

Back in March, the Liberal government added the Hybrid Pacifica to its rebate program to encourage people to buy the locally made minivan.  The original rebate program did not include the Windsor-made Pacifica. 

Essex NDP incumbent Tracey Ramsey says auto workers only need to look at the picket line to determine which party is supporting them.

"Who can you trust to stand up for you," says Ramsey.  "If you are an auto worker or a manufacturing worker in Windsor-Essex, across this country, the NDP is the party that you can trust to stand up for you to show up on picket lines, to show up at protest lines."

Windsor-Tecumseh NDP incumbent Cheryl Hardcastle says more can be done by the government to help manufacturing plants building vehicles in this country. 

"All of our government fleets, we could be saying that we are dedicated to Canadian manufactured, government fleets, it could be part of a vision and when you are doing grants and giving money, there are strings attached."

They also pointed out that when government invests in auto plants, like the Liberals did with Nemak, there should be strings attached, so the company doesn't leave.