Federal government and province of Ontario will help branch plants of US automakers in Canada. The federal government of Canada said that the 3.5 billion Canadian dollar bailout package is commensurate with Canadian production by US automakers.

US automakers still hoping for a government bailout can look to the north for some relief.

On Friday, the federal government of Canada, along with the province of Ontario, said they were ready to provide branch plants of US automakers in Canada with 3.5 billion Canadian dollars (2.8 million US) in emergency aid. That number represents about 20 percent of the 14 billion US dollars the Bush administration was ready to provide to GM and Chrysler in the form of bridge loans.

Canadian Industry Minister Tony Clement told reporters in announcing the deal that,"What we are signaling here tonight, both the governments of Ontario and Canada, is that we want to be part of the solution as well and it will be commensurate with the production that takes place here in Canada ...about 20%."

Government officials in Canada had been waiting on a US government bailout for the Detroit Big 3 before announcing any aid for local production in Ontario. But given the circumstances of the US bailout, where a 14 billion US dollar aid package was killed by Republicans in the Senate on Friday and the Bush administration's lack of timeliness in responding to the crisis, Canadian officials chose to act before their US counterparts. President Bush said on Monday that he's still not yet ready to act on a bailout. The White House says it is re-considering its initial opposition to tapping into the 700 billion US dollar Treasury fund appropriated by the Congress to bailout the financial industry in order to provide emergency loans to the troubled US auto industry. It now says it is considering that option and that it intends to provide some relief to GM and Chrysler.

About 30,000 people are employed by Big 3 assembly plants in Ontario. Thousands more work in the supplier industry that provide parts for those plants.


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