Canadian and Ontarian governments invest $590 million to retool Ford plant for EV production

Canada (Nicolas Raymond)

The governments of Ontario and Canada have announced that each will invest $295 million to help Ford upgrade its assembly plant in Oakville to start producing EVs. The grant was agreed to as part of last month’s $1.8-billion deal between Ford and the Canadian trade union Unifor.

Ford plans to produce five new electric car models at the Oakville facility, making it the company’s highest-volume EV factory in North America. The plant currently employs about 3,400 workers, and the federal government says EV production will support 5,400 jobs across the automaker’s Canadian work force and supply chain.

“By making this investment in Ford Canada, we are ensuring our province continues to lead North America and the world in automotive manufacturing and innovation, while boosting our competitiveness in this key sector,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said. “We are also securing thousands of good-paying jobs, not just at the facility in Oakville, but across the province. This project will help support our auto parts sector and other suppliers and service providers.”

Doug Ford’s newfound enthusiasm for EVs represents an about-face for him and his Progressive Conservative Party. Shortly after taking office as Premier in 2018, Ford eliminated Ontario’s subsidy for EV buyers, as well as a section of the building code that required new garages to be EV charging-ready.

“Today’s announcement is a testament to Canada’s attractiveness as a destination for clean technology, talent and infrastructure in the automotive industry,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “Companies like Ford are helping accelerate our transition to a low-carbon, clean-growth economy, which will help protect our environment, drive innovation, and create many good middle-class jobs.”

Source: CBC News