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A sign of good faith

There’s a lesson that many parents often teach their children – you will appreciate something more if you buy it yourself. Instead of having Mom and Dad for that shiny new toy, the child will often love it more if they save up their allowance or newspaper route money and buy it with their own cash.

While they certainly have much more money in their piggy bank, the folks at General Motors may be looking at a similar idea.

Back in the fall, following tense negotiations with Unifor, the union representing many of its workers, GM announced that it would be pouring more than half a billion dollars into upgrading its Canadian production facilities, with the vast majority of that – about $400 million – going towards car assembly in Oshawa.

At the time the deal was signed, it was also reported that the automaker was eligible for millions of dollars in grants from both the provincial and federal governments. In fact, both sides had 20 per cent of the project each on the table.

However, General Motors and moving ahead, and that money is not leaving that table. Instead, the automaker will be pumping in hundreds of millions of its own dollars to upgrade these plants, including giving the Oshawa Assembly a new lease on life, upgrading the already state-of-the-art flex line so that it can also include truck production.

The fact that General Motors is willing to pump in so much of its own money shows that it has faith in the Oshawa facility and keeping the doors open. While other automakers are going for the grants – Fiat Chrysler already received more than $80 million in funds from the province last summer – GM is going it alone, willing to invest their own money into the workers in Oshawa.

And perhaps because they are spending their own money, General Motors will appreciate it more. After all, they don’t have the safety net of government funds on this one – they’re on their own.