Mr. Flaherty said last night he is prepared to release to GM a portion of the $250-million Automotive Innovation Fund to produce a third car. The research and development fund was unveiled in this year's budget to help auto companies build more fuel-efficient vehicles.Make sure you use that word "innovation" in there, Jim, to match the name of the fund set up for an entirely different purpose. You know, the fund that is going to be used at this sensitive moment, principally to save your seat and undermine the very purpose for which the fund was established in the first place.
"The money is available," Mr. Flaherty told reporters. "The key is to work with the union, work with the company to see what's necessary in terms of technological innovation."
He said he has spoken to executives at GM about dipping into the fund, which could be an incentive to build a new model and create jobs at the plant near his riding of Whitby.
However, the news came as a surprise to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, who has been calling on Ottawa to help out the auto sector. "We look forward to seeing the details," a provincial government official said last night.
Last minute scrambling to fight the terrible optics in play here in Ontario. Looks good on Diamond Jim.