Windsor

Federal government announces $7 million investment, will create 42 jobs in Windsor-Essex

Federal Economic Development Minister Mélanie Joly visited Windsor Wednesday, touting Ottawa's contributions to the local manufacturing job market. 

1,000 new jobs to be announced throughout the rest of the week, says Economic Development Minister

Federal Economic Development Minister Melanie Joly, right, toured a manufacturing facility in Windsor on Feb. 12. Liberal Windsor-Tecumseh MP Irek Kusmierczyk, left, joined her during the tour. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

Federal Economic Development Minister Mélanie Joly visited Windsor on Wednesday, touting Ottawa's contributions to the local manufacturing job market. 

Here in Windsor, that means 42 new jobs at Laval Tool & Mould Ltd., Precision Stamping Group and SPM Automation.

The government is contributing approximately $7 million to help the companies purchase new equipment, as well as hire new staff capable of operating the new machinery. 

"It's happening as we speak, and also coming in the next months," Joly said. 

The $7 million investment announced on Wednesday is in addition to $4 million invested last summer into APAG Electronik Corp., a Swiss company with a 32,000-square foot facility in Windsor that serves as its North American headquarters. 

Joly toured APAG's Windsor facility on Wednesday, along with Liberal Windsor-Tecumseh MP Irek Kusmierczyk.

... We need to make sure to spread that growth to other parts of the country. - Melanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages 

Still, Joly's visit comes as Windsor hits the highest unemployment rate across the country. According to Statistics Canada, the city's January jobless rate reached 8.3 per cent — a rise not seen since 2016. 

"When you look at the growth across the country, we've seen a lot of jobs that have been created — a million new jobs since 2015," Joly said to CBC's Windsor Morning host Tony Doucette. 

"A lot of these jobs have been created and in major centres such as Toronto and Waterloo and we need to make sure to spread that growth to other parts of the country."

The minister said securing jobs in the automotive sector is important to the government, as well as preparing businesses and workers for the future — through the new NAFTA agreement. That deal would demand that 70 per cent of all aluminum parts used in the auto manufacturing process originate in a NAFTA country.

"The new NAFTA is really our way to secure our access to the U.S. market and to really protect more the entire supply chain," said Joly. "But I think that we have to be very much aware that the sector is also changing and we need to make the right investments in our companies." 

Over the next three days, the minister said she will announce 1,000 new jobs "in different companies an incubators" in the region. On Thursday, she'll be in Sarnia and on Friday she will visit London.

"In Sarnia, we'll be launching a new incubator that will create 700 new jobs within 150 different companies," she said. 

With files from Dale Molnar