December 13, 2008 / by emptywheel


After Tennessee and Alabama Refuse, Canada Agrees to Help US Automakers

ambassador_bridge.thumbnail.jpgTurns out I mistook which signature Michigan bridge would serve as a symbol for the loan the US automakers will get to hold them over until a saner Administration takes over: that bridge is not the Mackinaw bridge, connecting the two peninsulas of Michigan, but the Ambassador bridge, connecting Detroit to Canada.

The Canadians, you see, are coming to Detroit’s rescue.

 U.S. and Canadian governments say they will ride to the rescue of the beleaguered Detroit auto makers, hoping to head off a catastrophic collapse of Chrysler LLC or General Motors Corp. that would cascade throughout the North American economy.

Ottawa and Ontario will provide an estimated $3.4-billion to the Canadian units of the Detroit Three, while U.S. President George W. Bush will throw a $14-billion (U.S.) lifeline to their parent companies.


[Canadian Industry Minister Tony] Clement would not provide a specific figure, but he said the amount of money in the Canadian bailout represents this country’s one-fifth share of the Detroit Three’s North American vehicle production and on Canada maintaining that percentage.

“Clearly, this amount of money is meant to be, as the U.S. is finding out, a way to keep the doors open for the domestic auto sector while they continue their long-term planning,” he said.

The move is not all that surprising. Ontario probably has more Big 2.5 workers than either Indiana or Ohio, and it has assembly plants that are at risk of being closed down, as well as a chunk of suppliers hoping to get paid.

Still, I wonder if it embarrasses Senators Corker and Shelby and McConnell that the Canucks care more about the American auto industry than the plantation caucus does? 

Though I guess it’s not surprising. For all his shortcomings, Prime Minister Stephen Harper probably realizes–as members of the plantation caucus apparently don’t–that it’s a stupid idea for politicians to actively pursue the impoverishment of a country’s workers.

In any case, skdadl, Petrocelli, the rest of you lovely Canucks? Thanks for the help! I’ll have to buy you all a bridge loan beer when we have that meet-up in Toronto, I guess.

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