A New Vision for Canada's Auto Industry

April 16, 2012, 4:30 PM EST

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The CAW is calling on the federal and Ontario governments to launch a National Auto Policy to ensure the Canadian auto industry and the jobs in communities across the country supported by this key value-added industry flourish and grow.

CAW President Ken Lewenza announced the new auto policy at a press conference in Toronto on April 16.

The 50-page report called "Re-thinking Canada's Auto Industry" outlines a new vision for the industry based on a ten point policy program, which includes changes to automotive trade policy, establishing a fair value Canadian dollar, and negotiating Canadian manufacturing footprint commitments, among others.

Lewenza said Canada's auto industry is at a critical juncture for a number of reasons and that it's vitally important for all Canadians that the country adopt a National Auto Policy to help ensure more investment and more good jobs in local communities.

"If both governments step back from their responsibilities, for their own reasons, it will make things much worse," Lewenza said. "We need good jobs now and into the future, to support our families, to strengthen our communities, and to pay taxes."

CAW Economist Jim Stanford outlined details of the policy paper, stressing that Canada is one of the only auto-producing jurisdictions in the world that doesn't have a formal National Auto Policy.

While Canadian communities and workers have suffered through five auto assembly plant closures since 2001 other auto producing countries have not been impacted nearly as hard, he said.

"Germany has not closed an assembly plant since World War II," Stanford said. "So the idea that you have to accept this wholesale destruction of an industry simply isn't true."

The CAW will outline details of the policy at community forums in eight cities in Ontario over the next three weeks. Download the list of community meetings here.

To find out more about the CAW's new auto policy, please visit www.rethinktheeconomy.ca You can sign the Good Jobs Pledge addressed to governments and also the auto companies.

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