Mr. Speaker, as we know, today General Motors announced that it would be shutting down its assembly facility in Oshawa, affecting thousands of women and men in Oshawa and southern Ontario, including in my riding of Northumberland—Peterborough South. As a member of the surrounding region, I was personally deeply disappointed to hear today's announcement by GM. I want to assure my neighbours in Oshawa and the surrounding communities that our government is prepared to take action to assist those affected.
I know the automotive industry is a major contributor to the Canadian economy, employing over 500,000 people in direct and indirect jobs and contributing $18 billion to our GDP. For decades, the Government of Canada has worked closely with the automotive sector and it is heartbreaking to know that thousands of people will be affected by the decision of GM to stop operations in Oshawa. Our government is committed to ensuring we do everything we can to alleviate the concern that many Canadians, particularly my friends and neighbours in Oshawa, are feeling right now, and we continue to support good middle-class jobs for Canadians.
As a government, we are committed to assisting those who have been directly affected by today's decision and will deliver the benefits that employees are entitled to with the quality of service they deserve. There is a suite of services available which can be deployed quickly to support workers. Those in Oshawa and all Canadians should know that our government is working closely with our provincial and municipal partners to explore every option available for affected employees.
We recognize that this decision not only impacts those employed at GM's Oshawa facility, but also the thousands of people across southern Ontario who work for many of the suppliers to the Oshawa facility. In recognizing that this decision will have impacts on communities across the province, we are continuing to monitor the situation and are examining all options to not just help affected employees but businesses as well.
Employment insurance can provide temporary income support to Canadians when they have lost their job through no fault of their own while they look for work or indeed upgrade their skills. Additionally, Service Canada has an online job bank that lists available positions, labour market information, career exploration and resumé building. These programs work hand in hand with available labour market information that will help affected workers find information about occupations as well as labour market trends and outlooks. While these are established programs, they will be available to those currently affected in Oshawa and we will be examining all other options to ensure that all affected workers will be supported.
I would like to mention at this time, Mr. Speaker, that I will be splitting my time with the wonderful member for Vaughan—Woodbridge.
In addition to what our government is providing, the Ontario government has various programs and service offerings available to workers and employees who have been directly affected by the closing of GM Oshawa. The provincial second career program supports unemployed laid-off individuals with skills training to help them find employment in occupations that are in demand. The sector partnerships planning grant supports the development of partnerships and strategies that will identify workforce needs among industry employers and develop employment and training solutions that meet the needs of employers, job seekers and workers.
Our government provides programs to support not only the employees but the businesses as well. Since we formed government, total investments in the automotive sector have exceeded $5.6 billion, showing the strength of Canada's automotive environment and the strength of our world-leading talent. Our government has been a steadfast partner of the automotive industry and our strategic innovation fund has been an excellent example of that mutual relationship, providing support to large, small and medium-sized businesses across Canada to be more innovative and competitive.
The strategic innovation fund is just one part of our larger innovation and skills plan announced in budget 2017, which is positioning Canada as a leader in the global economy, with commitments to support digital innovation and invest in clean technology. Our government is taking concrete action to ensure that Canada is the location of choice to build the cars of the future by making investments in foundational research, such as our budget 2018 announcement of $925 million through Canada's granting councils. This money will support cutting-edge research across Canada.
Our government will continue to invest in autonomous and zero emission research and development at our leading facilities, universities, colleges and research labs.
While we are deeply disappointed in today's decision of GM, we want Canadians to know that every option is on the table to help those affected. We will continue to work closely with the province and municipality to monitor the situation and provide support as necessary.
Canada has a long and proud history of automotive manufacturing and the steps our government is taking will ensure that we are the location of choice to build the car of the future. Our government will continue to strengthen Canada's economy in order to remain competitive in the global market. We will do everything we can to support those affected by today's decision.
On a personal note, for over 40 years, I have lived 30 minutes from GM in Oshawa. My first job when we moved to the area was with a company that was part of its supply chain. Everyone knew someone or many someones who worked at General Motors.
General Motors is and has been an integral part of the fabric of the community of Oshawa and surrounding area. I know this is a day that we are all very truly sad has come.