TORONTO (CP) -- Ontario is keeping a close watch on an apparent request by General Motors for a $10-billion rescue package from the U.S. government to aid in its purchase of Chrysler.
Finance Minister Dwight Duncan says Ontario has not received any requests for financial help from the big Detroit-based automaker, which, along with Chrysler, has major operations in the province.
Duncan says the province invested in the companies in the past, and has a $1.1-billion fund that the carmakers can access if they need help because of the global credit crisis.
But he also wants the federal government to join the province in offering any financial help to the auto companies.
There are reports that merger talks involving GM and Chrysler's parent company, Cerberus Capital Management, have stalled over financing difficulties, and that GM is seeking a bailout from Washington to support the merger.
Duncan says such a bailout would portend a "significant change in a sector that's vitally important" to the Ontario and Canadian economies.
The Ontario finance minister is vowing to work with the auto companies and the Canadian Auto Workers union to make sure the crucial sector gets the help it needs.
Ontario has received a request for $1 billion in aid from auto parts companies, and Duncan says the province is prepared to work with them but would like Ottawa to help out as well.