Canada Unveils $145M Auto Industry Program

Industry Minister says the $145 million program aimed at helping Canada’s beleaguered auto sector will jump start development of higher tech, more environmentally friendly cars.

TORONTO (CP) -- Industry Minister Tony Clement is unveiling a program aimed at helping Canada's beleaguered auto industry get back on its feet and position it to build the cars of the future.

Speaking in Toronto, Clement says the program called Automotive Partnership Canada will jump start the development of higher tech, more environmentally friendly cars.

The program, which was initially announced in the Conservative government's 2008 budget, is also designed to help give the struggling auto sector help in conserving jobs and rebuilding.

Clement says the $145-million investment will be used to stimulate research and development.

Canada's auto industry has lost tens of thousands of jobs as Ontario-centered manufacturing plants are battered by economic uncertainty.

The once-mighty Detroit Three automakers have struggled to stave off bankruptcy, GM and Chrysler teetering as governments ponder billions of dollars in bailouts.

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