City of Thunder Bay talks future of Bombardier plant at meetings with City of Toronto, province

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Representatives of the City of Thunder Bay are hopeful meetings held with the City of Toronto and the province this week will lead to more work for Thunder Bay's Bombardier plant.

The Thunder Bay delegation — which included Mayor Bill Mauro, City Manager Norm Gale, and Craig Urquhart, chair of the Community Economic Development Commission — met with Ontario Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney, and Toronto councillor and TTC board member Shelly Carroll during its trip.

In a media release, the city said the goal of the meetings was to discuss the mutual benefits of continuing Thunder Bay's long-standing transportation relationship with Toronto.

"Our plant in Thunder Bay is the answer to the needs of the Toronto Transit Commission and Metrolinx," Mauro said in a statement. "A different provider would be more expensive and cause significant delay in meeting the near term needs of the TTC and Metrolinx."

"We must also continue to make the point that a local content requirement would level the playing field with competing jurisdictions."

The city said most of the TTC's subway cars have been made at Thunder Bay's Bombardier plant.

In an interview with CBC News, Mauro said it makes sense for the company to continue that trend.

"What we've been building here for a number of years, some of those vehicles are prototypes," he said. "If they don't go with Bombardier and they do have an immediate acute need for more vehicles; if they don't go here and they go to a different provider, all of that work will have to begin anew again because it's a prototype vehicle."