Flaherty Says He Hasn’t Heard of Job Losses at GM in Canada

Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said he isn’t aware of any Ontario job losses that might result from General Motors Co.’s decision to build the next-generation Chevrolet Camaro in Michigan.

Flaherty, in an interview with CTV Television, said GM has pledged to keep their “commitments to Canada” as part of the Canadian government’s investment in the company and the announced changes have to do with “technical requirements.”

“I think that some moves are being made for technical purposes by General Motors,” Flaherty told CTV, according to a transcript of the interview provided by the finance department. The production line at the Oshawa, Ontario plant “will continue to be fully used by General Motors. I haven’t heard a word about job losses, I can tell you that.”

Julie Vaux, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, said in a separate e-mailed statement the government is “concerned about the implications” of the announcement and will hold GM to its commitments.

The federal and Ontario governments together hold just over 140 million common shares in Detroit-based GM, representing about 9 percent of the outstanding stock, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Canada is the third-largest shareholder in GM, behind the U.S. Treasury, which holds 32 percent, and the GM-UAW Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association with 10 percent.

The Canadian Auto Workers, in a separate e-mailed statement, said the move “will cut between one third and one quarter” of production in late 2015 or early 2016 at the Oshawa, factory that now builds the Camaro. The Toronto-based union said it’s urging GM to replace the Oshawa production “on a one-to-one basis, ensuring that no jobs are lost.”

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