Prime Minister Trudeau announces an investment at the Ford Essex Engine Plant in Windsor, Ontario
Good morning, everyone!
What a great day for Windsor. What a great day for Canada. What a great day for Ford. It’s an incredible pleasure to be here.
Thank you, Joe, for that kind introduction. It’s great to see so many people here today who worked very, very hard to make this happen. That of course includes Premier Kathleen Wynne and Brad Duguid. The government of Ontario has been very, very strong in its support of Ford, of the manufacturing sector, of the auto sector specifically. Jerry Dias, a dear friend, who’s worked extremely hard understanding that ensuring opportunities for workers to get good jobs and to have security for those jobs for the coming decades, and changing workplaces is absolutely essential, and we couldn’t have done it without your leadership and your vision, Jerry.
And I want to thank all of you for hosting us here at the Ford plant this morning and letting us cut into your work day a bit.
I don’t want to hear from Joe how much it cost the plant to suspend for a morning, but I know that this is an extraordinarily important day for all of us in this room, but for the community that we’re all part of and the families we support with this great work.
Before I start, I really do want to say a few things about Windsor and about the great people here, but this is also an emotional day for me. As was pointed out, my father broke the saw, broke ground on this plant almost 40 years ago, in 1978. And this morning I got to hold the shovel that he used to do it. The government can’t do everything and it shouldn’t do everything. It shouldn’t try. But the things it does do, it should do well. And when I think of the role that successive governments have had in ensuring this industry -- the opportunities here, and I think of what my dad was able to do that set in motion incredible success in jobs for 40 years, I’m quite frankly humbled to be standing here today to be able to announce that we are securing this industry and good jobs in Windsor-Essex for generations to come with this.
Because I know and I recognize that Windsor has had a few difficult years. We can see and we can feel it. Things are really starting to pick back up. You guys are tough, there’s no doubt about it. And because of that classic Windsor resilience, this community is prospering again.
The economy is growing. More and more families are setting down roots and jobs are coming back and that’s really great to see. You folks should, can and are very proud of your city.
Glad to see you, Mayor Drew, here as well. Good to see you, Your Worship.
As always, there is more work to be done, but today is a big step forward -- one that will lead to more good, well-paying jobs for Windsorites.
I don’t want to take up too much of your time, but if I could just make a few quick remarks. As you know, this year we’re celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary across the country, and while we look back at the long road we’ve travelled, it’s also important to reflect on where we want to go and how to get there.
Last week we tabled the 2017 budget, which represents chapter two in our government’s ambitious plan to grow the economy and bolster the middle class. Before I talk to you about how today’s announcement will create and maintain nearly 800 good jobs for Canadians, there are two major themes in this budget that I’d like to discuss. Skills training and innovation.
We all know that key to any successful company is having the right workers with the right skills and you guys here at Ford are a great example of that. But we’ve heard from folks that they’re aware and nervous about the changing economy. With automation on the rise, hardworking Canadians are worried that their skills won’t be sufficient for the jobs of tomorrow. And we’ve heard that worry loud and clear.
But rather than recoil with a wait-and-see attitude, we see an opportunity to innovate and to help Canadian workers lead the way in a competitive global marketplace. So our government is investing significantly in skills training for Canadians. By helping workers upgrade their certifications and learn new skills we’re ensuring long-term prosperity, both for the workers themselves and for the communities they live in.
A second central theme of budget 2017 is the idea of innovation, and how by supporting our most promising businesses, we can position Canada as a world leader in the new economy, and secure great jobs for Canadians now and into the future. So all that being said, I’m extraordinarily happy to be here to support the great work being done by Ford and to signal that our government is committed to helping our most competitive industries get ahead.
That’s why the federal government is proud to invest $102 million in the Ford Motor Company of Canada.
And this is in partnership with the Government of Ontario which will match that investment.
Now this funding will go towards a few things: launching the production of new engines here in Windsor; the creation of a new research and engineering centre in Ottawa; and expanding research and development capacity across the board, allowing Ford to stay innovative and cutting-edge in the years ahead. All these efforts will result in the creation and maintenance of 800 good middle class jobs for Canadian workers.
As a government we know that the automotive industry plays a key role in the Canadian economy. After all, this sector employs more than a half-million Canadians and contributes 17.5 billion dollars to the economy each year.
That’s why we’re doing our part to help this important company move forward, just as my father did in the 1970s. Our government is proud to invest in Canadian innovation, be it in the automotive or aerospace industry, artificial intelligence or green technologies. And we’re proud to invest in the creation and retention of good jobs for the people who work hard here in Windsor and throughout the country.
I am so pleased to be here, standing before you, representing all Canadians because so many people were involved in demonstrating this path forward and making it happen, whether it was visionary leadership from Ford that realizes how important Canadian jobs and a Canadian role to play in the auto sector continues to be, or whether it’s a province and a premier who’s always stepped up on manufacturing, whether it was strong MPs from the region who have made sure that we as a government stay focused on creating good jobs for folks in Windsor, whether it’s municipal leadership, or the union leadership that has the same responsibility that we’ve taken very, very much to heart, which is creating good jobs and opportunities for all Canadians.
These are the kinds of things that happen when we all work together, proud of the opportunities we’ve built in the past but excited and optimistic about the future we are going to build together.
Thanks so much, my friends. What a pleasure to be here today. Keep up the great work!