Mr. Speaker, we are all concerned when Canadians lose their jobs. This is never an easy situation for both workers and their families. That is why we are supporting workers and communities through our $1 billion community development trust, helping build a better future through job training to create opportunities for workers, economic development to create new jobs and infrastructure development to stimulate economic diversification.
More than $357 million of this funding will flow directly to Ontario, where the government has outlined how it will use its funding in its provincial budget.
However, we must keep in mind the global economy is slowing, driven in large part by a slowdown in the U.S. The majority of the vehicles produced in Ontario are exported to the U.S., and clearly American consumers are not buying vehicles at the same rate as they once were.
While the Canadian auto sector remains strong and it continues to attract new investments, North American auto manufacturers are all experiencing market adjustments and continue to face global competitive pressures.
That is why we are ensuring the manufacturing sector, especially the automotive industry, has the tools to become more efficient and more innovative, which is vital for their long term economic success. That is why we have reduced taxes significantly on the sector, providing a major economic stimulus. Indeed, our tax relief will result in over $1 billion in benefits for the automotive sector over this and the next five years.
We have also provided $250 million for the automotive innovation fund to support strategic, large scale research and development projects by automotive and parts manufacturers in developing greener, more fuel efficient vehicles.
Additionally, we have made a $400 million investment for an access road to the new Windsor-Detroit border crossing, an investment that will directly benefit the constituents of the member opposite.
We have also enhanced the export development Canada's export guarantee program to increase the guaranteed coverage from 75% to 90%. This specifically benefits businesses in the automotive sector.
We have allocated $34 million per year for new research through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, targeted to the needs of key industries such as the auto sector.
In addition, to improve access to E85 fuels, we are giving $3 million to support E85 fuelling infrastructure and promote the commercialization of E85 fuels.
We have also cut the GST from 7% to 5% and this has lowered the costs of all new cars.
Many, including noted auto analyst Dennis DesRosiers, have been highly supportive of our approach, noting recently:
—together with previous budgets reveals the [federal government] is actually dedicating a significant amount of resources and political capital to the automotive sector and that, for the most part, this Government is taking a pro-active and positive approach to helping this industry.