Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canada's Minister of Innovation, Science and Economy Development, Navdeep Bains, met today with General Motors CEO Mary Barra to petition the automaker to keep open the Oshawa plant where it builds five Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac models. The meeting happened at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
That Oshawa factory also assembled the Camaro until November 2015, when that work was shifted to GM's Lansing, MI plant to be built alongside the Cadillac ATS and CTS with which the latest version of the sports car shares its underpinnings. The plant's future is uncertain beyond next year, when Impala, Regal, and XTS production is slated to be cut, leaving just the Equinox crossover; according to a CBC.ca article, Bains said the government used today's meeting to make the case for keeping the plant open, playing up Ontario as a "hub" for the high-tech and automotive industries, and that the Liberals plan to be an activist government to help companies. Bains, a certified management accountant who has worked for the Ford Motor Company of Canada, said the face-to-face meetings held in Davos "are going to pay off."
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The Liberals made no firm spending commitments to continue to attract auto industry investment in Canada, a position that holds true to the party's election platform in October 2015, when it promised no automotive sector funding. Camaro's move to Michigan cost about 1,000 jobs at the Oshawa factory, and shutting down the Impala, Regal, and XTS assembly lines would result in further cuts.