Ottawa promises to support auto sector

Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:25pm EST
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's Conservative government pledged on Wednesday to provide new support to the ailing automotive sector, in its most explicit promise of emergency aid yet.

"The Canadian manufacturing sector, particularly the automotive and aerospace industries, has been under increasing strain. Our government will provide further support for these industries," the government said in a major policy speech to mark the start of a new session of Parliament.

The government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, reelected in October, said it would be "misguided" to commit to a balanced budget in the short term due to the global financial crisis.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will deliver an update on the government's fiscal and economic projections next week, it said.

To boost the economy during the downturn, the government promised to provide incentives to companies for investing in machinery and equipment and to speed up planned infrastructure projects.

(Reporting by Louise Egan; Editing by Peter Galloway)

<p>Canada's Governor General Michaelle Jean chats with Prime Minister Stephen Harper (L) prior to the Speech from the Throne in the Senate chamber on Parliament Hill in Ottawa November 19, 2008. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>