Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced the renewal of the Automotive Innovation Fund (AIF), highlighting the strategic importance of the automotive sector to Canada's economy and job market. The Prime Minister was accompanied by Lisa Raitt, Minister of Labour.
"Our Government remains focussed on creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity and to keeping Canada's automotive manufacturing sector globally competitive and innovative," said Prime Minister Harper. "The Automotive Innovation Fund has a proven track record of generating results for Canadians in terms of jobs, prosperity and foreign investment in Canada."
The AIF provides support for leading-edge innovation in automotive manufacturing and research and development (R&D) to build advanced, greener products and processes.
The AIF was first introduced in Budget 2008. To date, investments have leveraged up to $1.6 billion in R&D and innovation investments in Canada's automotive sector, including promoting enhanced R&D capacity, leading-edge engineering and design, and made-in-Canada innovation. Since AIF's inception, the following companies have benefitted from the Fund: Ford Motor Company of Canada, Linamar Corporation, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. and Magna International.
Canada's automotive industry is a key economic driver, contributing 12 percent of the country's manufacturing GDP and 12 percent of total merchandise exports. The industry employs approximately 111,000 Canadians directly and another 338,000 indirectly.