NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — NDP Leader Tom Mulcair's campaign rolled into Canada's auto-manufacturing heartland Wednesday where he pledged financial incentives for automakers and parts suppliers in an effort he insists will boost jobs in the sector.
Speaking in Niagara Falls, Ont., Mulcair promised to invest an additional $90 million into the federal automotive supplier innovation program over the next five years.
In April, Ottawa announced $100 million for the program, which is intended to foster automotive technology development and increase the competitiveness of Canada's automotive supply chain.
"It's time to get good-paying auto manufacturing jobs back to these communities," Mulcair said as he made the announcement at an auto parts company.
He listed off a few southern Ontario cities important to the country's auto industry — places that are also critical to his push to win the Oct. 19 election.
The region is crucial for all major parties in the narrow, three-way race.
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper campaigned Wednesday in nearby Welland, Ont., while Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau made an announcement in Toronto.
Mulcair's commitment Wednesday also included a promise to remove taxes for automakers on the automotive innovation fund as a way to help bolster production capacity. That would cost public coffers about $20 million in tax revenues.
In making his announcement, Mulcair also attacked past Conservative and Liberal governments on their records in assisting the auto industry.
He said that last year alone, $24 billion was invested around the world to increase auto-assembly capacity.
"Yet Canada failed to attract a single dollar," he said. "Not one. Zero."
His promise for the automotive sector comes a day after he committed additional funding for the aerospace industry.
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