One of the world’s largest automakers has stopped construction on a $5-billion electric vehicle battery plant in Windsor, Ont., saying the federal government has not delivered on what was promised. All levels of government were to provide financial support. While the amounts were not disclosed at the time, Stellantis now says the federal government has not held up its end of the bargain.
“As of today, the Canadian government has not delivered on what was agreed to therefore Stellantis and LG Energy Solution will begin implementing their contingency plans,” the company said in a statement on May 15. “Effective immediately, all construction related to the battery module production on the Windsor site has stopped.”
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said the federal government needs to support Stellantis in the same way it did Volkswagen. A recently announced deal with that company to build an electric vehicle battery plant in St. Thomas, Ont., includes subsidies worth up to $13 billion plus a $700 million grant. “It really worries me,” Ford said after an unrelated announcement in Mississauga, Ont. “We need the federal government to come to the table and show their support like they have all along.” The province put up $500 million for both deals, Ford said, and is ensuring roads and energy for the plant.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes a Volkswagen electric battery plant announcement at the Elgin County Railway Museum in St. Thomas, Ont., Friday, April 21, 2023. “We’ll go toe to toe with any state down in the United States,” he said. “The only thing we can’t do is go toe to toe with the U.S. federal government. That’s the federal Canadian government’s job, and they can do it. We’re confident that they made a promise to the people of Windsor – I was down there with the prime minister – now they need to keep their promise to the people in Windsor.”