Statement by Economic Development, Trade and Employment Minister on Heinz Closure
Today, Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, issued the following statement on the Heinz closure in Leamington:
"I am extremely disappointed with the decision by Heinz to close its Leamington operations. Heinz has indicated that this is a business decision, but I am disappointed nonetheless.
My first concern is for the workers, their families and the broader community. The agri-food industry in the Leamington area - farmers, staff, distributors and more - has made a very significant contribution to Heinz and to Heinz's financial success for many years.
Ontario has a strong, reliable and world-class agri-food sector, and our government will continue to recognize its unmatched contribution to our economy.
The federal decision to review regulations around standardized container sizes has not helped the business environment and, should the proposed changes be implemented, could make the province less attractive to existing companies and potential international investors. The Premier and I will continue to raise the profile of this sector and bring this issue to our federal counterparts.
Our government is ready and willing to offer support and resources to affected workers at this difficult time. I will also ensure that Leamington and the surrounding area are taking full advantage of regional economic development programs and other provincial supports.
Our government has an economic plan to drive jobs and growth. We are investing in people, investing in infrastructure and supporting a dynamic and innovative business climate. I will continue to work with Ontario's agri-food industry and manufacturers to help it grow and seize new market opportunities at home and globally.
Once again, my first concern is for the affected workers, their families, and the community. We will do everything we can to help them at this difficult time."