Federal Study Eyes Stronger, Sustainable Auto Policies in Canada

February 27, 2013, 10:05 AM EST

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The federal government is commissioning a five-year research initiative to study Canada's auto manufacturing sector. The project aims to examine and strengthen research and development as well as investment policies to keep one of the country's most critical industries competitive and sustainable.

CAW President Ken Lewenza called the February 22 announcement a step in the right direction, noting the study's objectives are in line with the union's 10-point auto policy campaign entitled Rethinking Canada's Auto Industry, launched in April of 2012.

"We approached key federal government officials last summer with a slate of proposals to help create jobs, encourage investment and improve the competitiveness of this core Canadian industry that received all-party support," Lewenza said. "This study is welcome news and provides us an opportunity to make meaningful, and long-overdue, policy improvements that put us in line with other successful auto-making nations."

The CAW auto policy framework includes a demand for green-car auto investment in Canada, a re-balancing of current unfair trade flows and a Buy-Canadian vehicle procurement strategy, among other items.

The $2.1 million study will be headed up by Professor Charlotte Yates, Dean of Social Sciences at McMaster University in Hamilton through a new Canadian Automotive Policy Partnership (CAPP). The study will be informed by both academic and industry partners, including the CAW.

"The project will be ground-breaking not only because of the breadth of its analysis, but also because of its capacity to build functioning, long-term partnerships between industry, researchers and the government," said Yates, as reported in the McMaster Daily News.

The study, funded through Automotive Partnership Canada (APC), is housed in McMaster University's new manufacturing policy research centre in Hamilton.

For more information on the CAW's Re-Thinking Canada's Auto Industry campaign, and to sign the pledge, visit: www.rethinktheeconomy.ca

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