Flaherty releases automotive action plan
TORONTO, June 19 /CNW/ - Ontario Minister of Enterprise, Opportunity and Innovation, Jim Flaherty, released the Ontario government's Automotive Action Plan today as a follow up to the Automotive Roundtable held in Toronto on May 22, 2002.
"The auto sector is one of the key drivers of the Ontario economy and our government values the contribution it makes to our quality of life," said Flaherty. "Although the industry remains strong, global overcapacity has created a fiercely competitive environment, resulting in the expansion of major assembly plants outside Canada."
The Automotive Action Plan focuses on Innovation, Skills and Infrastructure. It includes:
1) An Ontario Automotive Innovation Working Group, which will be
established by the fall of 2002, will prepare a brief "Current
Situation" report that explores the innovation challenges, identifies
the gaps in performance and capabilities and recommends the best way
to address these gaps.
2) An Ontario Automotive Skills Working Group, which will be established
by the fall of 2002, will prepare a brief "Current Situation" report
that explores education and skills challenges, identifies gaps in
company and educational institution performance, and presents
proposals to address these gaps.
3) The Ministry will work with relevant groups, including other
ministries and the federal government, to develop short-term
procedures and strategies that would enhance traffic flow to and
across key border crossings.
Flaherty has begun to meet with CEOs of the five major assemblers, and other auto industry representatives, to discuss the roundtable and the development of a long-term automotive strategy.
"This is a good first step towards ensuring that the auto sector continues to grow and prosper here in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada," said Flaherty. " Our government recognizes the challenges facing the industry, and the need to work together to attract future investment and jobs."
The industry representatives who participated in the roundtable agreed that an Automotive Advisory Council should be established to examine critical issues and develop viable solutions.
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For more information, visit: www.ontario-canada.com/export
For further information: Dan Miles, Minister's Office, (416) 325-6795