(Windsor) One of the world’s largest automakers announced Monday that it has halted construction of an electric vehicle battery plant in Windsor, Ont., saying the federal government has failed to deliver on its promises.
The news prompted the Premier of Ontario to appeal to Ottawa to come to an agreement with the company.
Stellantis, which makes notably Chrysler, Ram and Fiat vehicles, and South Korean battery maker LG Energy Solution last year announced the construction of a $5 billion factory, which was to create 2,500 jobs.
All levels of government were to provide financial support within the framework of an agreement, which has not yet been constrained.
“So far, the Canadian government has failed to honor what has already been agreed upon, so Stellantis and LG Energy Solution will begin implementing their standby solutions,” the company said in a press release. “As of now, all work related to the battery production plant has stopped.”
The federal government says negotiations are continuing. “We will continue to fight for the best deal for Canada,” Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said Monday during question period in the House of Commons.
At the exit of the communes, mI Freeland said she was optimistic about the outcome of the negotiations. But I also want to point out that the federal government’s resources are not limitless. We’re counting on Ontario to do its fair share and Stellantis to be reasonable.”
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he was “very concerned” during a press conference.
He says the government should support Stellantis in the same way it did Volkswagen. A recent agreement with this car company provides for the construction of an electric vehicle plant in St. Thomas, Ontario.
The agreement with Volkswagen provides for an investment of 700 million from the federal government and 500 million from Ontario, in addition to subsidies for the production cost of each battery, i.e. from 8 to 13 billion in a contract.
These scholarships are meant to compete with the United States, which offers similar scholarships.
“We are sure they made a promise to the people of Windsor – I was there with the Prime Minister (Justin Trudeau). Now they have to keep their promise to the people of Windsor.”
Mr. Ford’s appeal joins that of the Mayor of Windsor and Unifor, the largest private sector association in the country.
Conversely, the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation believed that Ottawa should reject Stellantis’ demands.
“If you hand out millions of taxpayer dollars to one auto company, of course the others will follow,” the organization’s director, Jay Goldberg, said in a press release. “Taxpayers can’t afford to spend money on every company imaginable, and Ottawa needs to say no before shelling out billions more.”
With information from Mia Rapson, in Ottawa
“Music guru. Incurable web practitioner. Thinker. Lifelong zombie junkie. Tv buff. Typical organizer. Evil beer scholar.”