Detroit carmakers approach Canada for $6.8B in loans

“North American economic conditions now make it necessary for us to seek government assistance to sustain our business and supply chain,” said Arturo Elias, president of General Motors Canada.

The total of about $22 billion falls even further short of the $34 billion in combined loans sought on the carmakers' return to Congress last week,and General Motors and Chrysler are seeking about $2.4 billion of the Canadian loans as emergency funds, with the remaining $1.6 billion the two have requested to be doled out over the longer term.

Ford, on the other hand, has only requested a $2 billion standby line of credit - much like its request to the U.S. - to be used only if conditions get worse than they currently are, reports TheSpec. The company hopes to weather the storm without actually dipping into any government funds.

Canadian government officials seem initially wary of the request, though open to further consideration. Canada's Federal Industry Minister Tony Clement, who is familiar with the matter both in the U.S. and Canada, says the current situation is a preliminary consideration, and that "before committing taxpayer dollars, we need to review the plans to ensure that they have met our requirements," much like his U.S. counterparts have done.