Ontario would lose 517,000 jobs within five years if the Big Three automakers went out of business, according to a new provincial report obtained by the Star.
The review, prepared for the Ministry of Economic Development and to be released today, warns the collapse of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler would send lasting shock waves through the economy.
If auto output by U.S.-based manufacturers in Canada were cut in half, at least 157,400 jobs would be lost right away, 141,000 of them in Ontario. By 2014, job losses would rise to 296,000 nationally, including 269,000 here.
If production were to cease completely, 323,000 jobs would be lost immediately in Canada, including 281,800 in this province, rising to 582,000 nationally and 517,000 in Ontario by 2014.
The Ontario Manufacturing Council, an arm's-length provincial government panel, commissioned the 11-page report, which was prepared by the Centre for Spatial Economics. The report paints a gloomy picture if governments at Queen's Park, in Ottawa and in Washington do not bail out the automakers.
"The depreciation of the dollar, lower interest rates, and lower production costs eventually help the economy to partially recover (over the following five years, 2015 to 2019) but the loss of the Detroit Three leaves a permanent dent in Canada's economy in terms of jobs and output," the report says.
Both Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Premier Dalton McGuinty have been in constant contact and Ottawa is talking with the White House to track the status of the U.S. bailout, Bryant said.