Expect more government spending on Ontario’s automotive industry over the coming weeks. That’s the tip from Vic Fedeli, the province’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.
The fact should come as no surprise despite the $13 billion that has already been invested into the automotive manufacturing sector in Ontario within the last 18 months, including last week’s announcement from car manufacturer Stellantis and battery maker LG Energy Solution of their plans to build a large scale-scale electric vehicle battery plant in Windsor, Ont. The more than $5 billion investment was the largest in the automotive manufacturing history of Ontario.
On March 16, Honda Canada announced that it will invest $1.38 billion over six years to upgrade its Alliston manufacturing facility to become the North America lead plant for the all-new 2023 CR-V Hybrid crossover. Both the provincial and the federal government provided funding towards that plan.
How could there be more investment coming? There are several reasons:
- The province is retooling its automotive manufacturing base to prepare for the production of electric vehicles.
- Ontario is in sharp competition with states in the U.S. to entice car manufacturers to build their electric vehicle facilities here. Growing “Build it in America” sentiments in the U.S. further heighten the competition and require government financial support to encourage U.S. manufacturers to instead consider Canada.
- This is an election year in Ontario and the provincial government, emerging from two years of Covid-induced restrictions, is eager to paint a rosier economic picture.
“Standby the next few days and weeks. We’ve got many more deals to be announced,” Fedeli said in an interview on Morning Live Friday. “Our job as the province of Ontario is to make sure that we’re supporting these manufacturers because that’s where the jobs are.”