Monday, December 8, 2008

Flaherty Says an Auto Bailout Can be Done

(Canwest News Service)

Canada’s finance minister said Monday that a request by the three Detroit automakers for $6 billion in emergency aid from the Ontario and federal governments is “capable of being dealt with,” cautioning, however, that all company stakeholders will have to make concessions before any funding is disbursed.

Jim Flaherty said federal and Ontario officials are reviewing the viability plans submitted Friday by the Canadian arms of General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC as a condition for aid.

Asked for his initial impressions of the business plans submitted, the minister said: “It’s capable of being dealt with,” adding that more discussions are needed. “All participants in the industry are going to need to come to the table. To invest taxpayers’ money will require terms and conditions,” he said.

Flaherty said he expects the federal and state governments in the United States, and the federal and Ontario governments will all be involved in the aid discussions. He spoke to reporters in Toronto following a ceremony for the Evergreen Brick Works environmental renewal project.

GM, Ford and Chrysler submitted plans Friday requesting a combined $6-billion in aid to help them stabilize their Canadian operations and fund future manufacturing in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Read the rest here.