A day after President Bush offered a bailout to American automakers, Canada announced plans to follow suit. The federal and Ontario governments will grant GM and Chrysler’s Canadian subsidiaries $3.3 billion ($4 billion in Canadian dollars), the Globe and Mail reports. “We cannot afford either in the US or Canada a catastrophic short-term collapse,” said PM Stephen Harper, who cautioned, though, that the loans are not “a blank check.”
Ontario’s premier added that 400,000 people rely on the auto industry. “Those people and their jobs are worth fighting for,” said Dalton McGuinty. Like the US package, the officials attached strings to the deal, including limits on executive compensation and back payment for parts suppliers. The automakers are seeing their slowest sales in 26 years.