By Tonda MacCharles Ottawa Bureau Bruce Campion-Smith Ottawa Bureau Mon., Nov. 26, 2018 OTTAWA—It was a nightmare scenario that deeply divided prime minister Stephen Harper’s minority government, cabinet and caucus. The 2009 global recession had left Chrysler and General Motors fighting for their corporate lives. If the big auto companies went under, thousands of well-paying auto jobs would be wiped out. The ripple effects would hit suppliers and communities, aggravating an already deep economic slump. On the table was a proposal to pump billions of taxpayer dollars into the two companies — tough to swallow for a Conservative government that campaigned against picking corporate winners and losers. Yet those involved in the decision say the Canadian government had no choice. In Washington, Barack Obama’s administration had already signalled it would provide financial support to GM and Chrysler’s U.S. operations. There was a risk their Canadian operations would simply head south. “The truth is, it’s not what we wanted to do. It was a defensive reaction to President Obama going ahead and bailing out Chrysler and GM. If Canada was going to be a part of the North American auto supply then we had to pick up our proportionate share,” said… Read full this story
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