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Magna International

From Academic Kids

Magna International Inc. is a Canadian company based in Aurora, Ontario. It is Canada's largest automobile parts manufacturer, and one of the country's largest companies. It also owns the successful Magna Steyr automobile production company of Austria.

The company was founded in 1957 by Frank Stronach as Multimatic. This company merged with Magna Electronics in 1969, and the combined company became Magna International in 1973.

Mainly based in southern Ontario, the company makes auto parts that are primarily supplied to the large American companies operating in Canada and the United States.

Political Connections

The firm is also known for its political connections, such as having former Premiers of Ontario of every stripe on its board, as well as connections with numerous other former politicians. Some politicians who have had notable positions with Magna include Mike Harris and Brian Tobin. In 1988, Stronach ran as a candidate for parliament for the federal Liberal Party.

Magna International has also been noted also for its connections to the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party and the Ontario Liberal Party. In 2003, the Progressive Conservatives under Ernie Eves presented the provincial budget at a Magna plant leading to accusations that the government was violating centuries of parliamentary tradition. It is believed that this decision had a negative impact on the Progressive Conservatives in the next provincial election.

In 2004, Stronach's daughter and former company head Belinda Stronach ran for the leadership of the Conservative Party. While she failed in her bid for the leadership of the party, she was elected in her riding (Newmarket-Aurora) in the 2004 federal election. In May 2005 she switched to the Liberal Party and was appointed to cabinet.

On March 18, 2005, former United States ambassador to Canada, Paul Cellucci, joined Magna as a vice-president of its entertainment division.

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