Talks between the Big Three North American automakers and their Canadian workers are drawing closer to a line in the sand drawn by the union.

Negotiations are continuing in Toronto in hopes of averting a strike by members of the Canadian Auto Workers union.

The deadline for a deal is midnight tonight, but the C-A-W is reporting progress at the bargaining table — and the union has said the deadline could be extended if it feels an agreement is within reach.

The union is focusing on Ford, suggesting  the automaker has been more receptive than G-M and Chrysler to its offer on the key issue of wages.

C-A-W president Ken Lewenza said yesterday that Ford has shown a “clear willingness” to reach a new contract .

The union is hoping a deal with Ford could serve as a model for subsequent agreements with General Motors and Chrysler.

Chrysler, however, appears miffed by the union’s focus on Ford, saying it’s “very concerned.”