Detroit Three automakers seek aid from Canada
Canadian taxpayers are being asked to provide about $6 billion to the Detroit Three auto makers, and immediately. This request came just a day after the temporary suspension of Parliament.
Ford Motor Co. said Friday it is seeking a 2 billion Canadian dollars ($1.59 billion) standby credit line from the Canadian government, and General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC are seeking undisclosed amounts as well as the Detroit Three struggle with a worsening economy.
Chrysler, based in Auburn Hills, Mich., wouldn't comment on the amount it was asking for, saying only that the figure was proportional to the $34 billion that the three automakers were asking of the U.S.
Reid Bigland, president and CEO of Chrysler Canada, said in a statement that his company's request was "temporary and fully repayable" and would ensure Chrysler has sufficient funds to complete its restructuring activities during an unprecedented downturn in vehicle sales.
Federal Industry Minister Tony Clement, who had traveled to Detroit and Washington with his Ontario counterpart to speak with the automakers, said the numbers were the first step in figuring out what, if any, aid would be granted. He has already said there are funds in the last budget to help automakers, despite the turmoil in Ottawa that prompted the Governor General to suspended Parliament until late January.
The Ontario government hadn't promised any time commitment, and will examine the numbers further over the weekend, Bryant added.
Ontario, the heartland of the Canada's auto industry, would be the hardest-hit province if one of the Detroit Three automakers filed for bankruptcy -- something that's considered a genuine threat now that the U.S. bailout is on hold.