Area MPP Laurie Scott and MP Jamie Schmale have each issued statements following the announcement that General Motors would be closing its Oshawa plant at the end of 2019.
After rumours began swirling over the weekend, GM announced Monday (Nov. 26) morning that Oshawa was among five factories facing closure as part of a restructuing effort. The others are in Michigan and Ohio.
Upwards of 15,000 people – including roughly 2,500 at the Oshawa plant – could lose their jobs.
“I am saddened to hear that GM Canada has made a strategic business decision to close five production facilities across North America, including the Oshawa Assembly and four plants in the United States. My heart goes out today to all of the workers and their families impacted by this decision, especially those impacted by the closure of the Oshawa site,” Scott wrote.
“Hundreds of GM Oshawa workers and retirees call Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock home. Over the years, I have met many of these hardworking men and women. They are dedicated employees who have every reason to be proud of the great work they have done over the years to build the Oshawa Assembly into one of GM’s best production facilities. Many are also deeply involved in our communities as volunteers.”
Scott noted that her government is taking “immediate action” to assist affected GM employees.
“We are deploying Employment Ontario’s Rapid Re-Employment Training Services, which will assist workers with accessing services and employment opportunities. Premier Ford has also asked the federal government to extend EI eligibility to 50 weeks and double the length of work sharing agreements to 76 weeks. We have called upon all three levels of government to work collaboratively to assist affected GM Oshawa workers and their families with this transition,” she wrote.
Scott noted that her constituency office – which can be reached throughe-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 705-324-6654 – is available to assist affected GM workers and their families with any questions or concerns.
Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MP Jamie Schmale addressed the closure in the legislature, posting the footage to social media late in the afternoon.
“The decision to close the General Motors plant in Oshawa will wipe out billions of dollars in GDP and will ripple through the supply chain, putting tens of thousands of jobs at risk,” the post reads.
“Now, more than ever, we need to focus on how we can get those affected back on their feet. We are not ready to throw in the towel yet, because we know that if we don’t fight for these jobs today, they won’t come back tomorrow. We need to push to increase investment attractiveness in Canada, in order to create a business-friendly environment for future generations.”