Maple sugar for Ottawa automen
MAPLE SUGAR FOR AUTOMAKERS: The Canadian government - this is their parliament - has earmaked the equivalent of billions of rands to develop the country's automaking infrastructure.
OTTAWA, Canada - The government here has announced that the equivalent of more than R2.1-billion will be assigned to its auto sector research and development over five years.
The plan is to support the engineering of better power trains, lighter auto components and other advances - maple-leaf sugaring indeed...
Prime minister Stephen Harper said on January 4 2013: "Our government remains focused on creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity and to keeping Canada's automotive manufacturing sector globally competitive and innovative."
The government support will be funnelled to a handful of companies for large projects through the Automotive Innovation Fund. The fund, introduced in 2008, has provided money to Ford, Linamar Corporation, Toyota and Magna International.
Canada's automotive industry contributes 12% of the country's manufacturing GDP and 12%of total merchandise exports.
The industry employs about 111 000 Canadians directly and 338 000 indirectly, according to government figures.