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FORD TO UPGRADE PLANT

Ford Motor Co., the second-largest U.S. automaker, probably will announce plans to redevelop its Oakville, Ontario, plant near Toronto in the next few weeks, Canadian Industry Minister David Emerson said.

"I am confident we are going to get there," Emerson told reporters outside the House of Commons in Ottawa.

Ford will announce a $1 billion Canadian ($800 million U.S.) upgrade to the plant next week, the Toronto Star reported Friday, citing unidentified people in the industry. Negotiations with the federal and provincial governments for a $200 million (Canadian) subsidy held up an agreement for months, the paper said.

Emerson said Friday the federal government had met all its deadlines.

Ford spokesman John Jelinek declined to comment on the possibility of an announcement next Friday, saying the company expects a decision later this year, the Star reported.

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