Canada lawmakers want to question GM CEO

Members of Canada’s parliament want to question General Motors CEO Mary Barra about the future of the automaker in her country.

The Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology of the House of Commons approved Tuesday a request for Barra to “come before the committee and explain GM’s ongoing and future commitment to the Canadian automotive and manufacturing industry in Canada.”

The member of the Ontario Democratic Party, Brian Masse, presented the motion, which was approved by the committee of all parties.

General Motors said in November it will no longer allocate products to its Oshawa assembly plant beyond 2019. This means that around 2,600 workers per hour will be out of work.

The automaker will stop the transportation program that sees the unfinished outgoing models of the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado sent to Oshawa from Indiana for completion. Nor will it fail to manufacture the Chevrolet Impala and the Cadillac XTS, both currently assembled in Oshawa.

“Canada needs to know about GM and Mary Barra,” said Masse. “They are investing elsewhere, what is the future in Canada?”

The automaker insists that jobs are not being created in Mexico. And, there will also be job losses, as part of GM’s global restructuring.

Barra is not required by law to appear, however.

“Committees usually call witnesses only in cases where witnesses have refused a prior invitation to appear,” according to the website of the House of Commons. “If a proposed witness does not appear when summoned, the committee may report the fact to the House. The House then takes whatever action it deems appropriate. ”

GM Canada would not say if Barra will appear before the committee.

“We have not received anything yet, but we will consider the best way to respond when we do,” said company vice president David Paterson in an email from Ottawa, where he attended what he called “general public policy meetings in progress. ”

U.S Grilling

Barra already met with US lawmakers in December and faced a difficult question from Congress on Capitol Hill.

US Sen. Gary Peters, a Democrat from Michigan, questioned why GM was launching the production of its new Chevrolet Blazer crossover in Mexico when it was reducing production in the United States and said the company needs to move the vehicle to the US. UU

“We got answers on some of the decisions they made. But I think they need to review that thought process and understand the importance of making [vehicles] locally, “Peters said after the meetings.

Barra told reporters after the meetings that it was “important for General Motors to make the necessary changes but incredibly difficult.”

Unifor, the union representing some 2,600 workers in Oshawa, wants the Blazer to meet in Canada.

Bailout paid back

The Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology is a federal committee of all parties that studies and reports on the legislation, activities and expenditures of Industry Canada and its membership portfolio. Automakers, including General Motors, received billions of dollars from taxpayers when the federal government rescued them from financial problems during the Great Recession of 2009.

The committee also controls the capabilities of Canada’s industry and technology, investment, trade and more.

General Motors Canada says it has repaid its ransom “more than 10 times since 2009, reinvesting more than $ 100 billion in Canadian manufacturing [and] purchased products”.

He also says that his workforce is more than 5,000 and “we are hiring up to 1,000 in R & D, software and automotive technology.”

The automaker says that another 23,000 people work for GM dealers throughout Canada.

“The automotive industry is changing, and so are we, so we will be here for the next 100 years,” says the automaker in reference to the 100-year-old Oshawa plant.