By on February 14, 2019

FCA Brampton Assembly Line Challenger & 300 - Image: FCA

General Motors’ decision to stop the flow of product to Ontario’s Oshawa Assembly plant by the end of 2019 has the province’s government promising cash and a slew of measures to keep the auto industry alive north of the border.

Ontario holds the bulk of Canada’s auto-related manufacturing jobs, with the sector adding up to nearly one-fifth of the province’s manufacturing GDP. Vehicles and parts made up 28 percent of its trade exports in 2015. On Thursday, the Ontario government rolled out the first phase of a 10-year plan to firm up the industry and make automakers reconsider Mexican investment.

The volume of Canadian-built vehicles fell by 25 percent since 2000, and GM’s decision to turn the lights out in Oshawa won’t help the trend. At last report, 13 percent of North America’s auto production occurs in Ontario.

Titled “Driving Prosperity: The Future of Ontario’s Automotive Sector,” the plan lays out a number of initiatives, among them: $40.2 million over the next three years for internships, an online learning and training portal, and an automotive modernization program. International promotion is another plank, as are “supports” for R&D and emerging technologies.

Grouped under three pillars — talent, innovation, and competitive business climate — the plan makes no shortage of promises to existing and prospective auto sector companies. Mainly, a potential reduction in the electricity rate for certain manufacturers, a reduction in red tape and a modernization of existing regulations, and a reduction in taxes. If some of those sound like promises made to all companies by conservative governments the world over, you’re right. There’s finer specifics contained in the plan, but that’s the gist. A second phase of the plan should emerge from the Doug Ford government by the end of the year.

Looking through the document, one wonders how a government of any stripe would go about maintaining “current assembly production volume and [securing] new assembly commitments.” No government in this country seems able to compel private manufacturing operations to stay open or expand without a liberal application of taxpayer cash. Well, it certainly appears that way.

Regardless, this government feels it can pull in new auto manufacturing, with a job site challenge being one tool in that strategy. The province describes it as “a competition, open to municipalities, economic development corporations, and industrial developers, for a site (500 to 1,500 acres) capable of attracting a new assembly plant. Ontario would partner with the winning proponent on site-readiness and servicing to ensure the development opportunity is competitive.”

Other tools include “improving the transparency and stability of property tax assessments” and “[streamlining] the approvals and certification process for auto manufacturing sites.”

It’s an effort, anyway — one that could prove successful. Still, one has to wonder what phase two holds.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

15 Comments on “Rocked by GM’s Plant Cull, Ontario Seeks to Shore Up Its Auto Sector...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “promising cash and a slew of measures”

    That didn’t keep Oshawa open, so why would it work now?

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Too bad they primarily copied what most other governments have offered, as last ditch attempts, with little success.

    Maybe as Lord Black of Crossharbour proposed when various governments bailed out FM and Chrysler the Canadian federal and Ontario governments should instead have just taken over/purchased Chrysler/Dodge. This could ensure keeping the Windsor and Brampton plants and their parts suppliers open.

    Then acquire licenses to produce vehicles, or engines not currently available in N.A. at these plants.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    High taxes, high energy costs. biased labour laws; what went wrong?

    • 0 avatar
      TwoBelugas

      It’s a combination of Shangri-La and the Promised Land with its universal health care and all.

      -legions of art history and ethnic studies double degree holders who regularly post on Jalopnik

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        @twobelugas, universal health care was for decades a major competitive advantage for Ontario. In the USA the auto manufacturers had to pay for health care for their workers, their workers’ families and their retirees.

        In Ontario a much smaller ‘health tax’ covered all of that.

        Of course a university education should teach someone how to verify facts, rather than spout ridicule. Get that, ‘spout’? ‘Don’t forget to tip your waiter.’

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          “Of course a university education should teach someone how to verify facts, rather than spout ridicule. Get that, ‘spout’? ‘Don’t forget to tip your waiter.’”

          I’ve probably been in a university classroom more recently than you. Unless your in a heavy math or science based class, then no, your taught to spout ridicule and shut down speech that runs contrary to acceptable progressive bias.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Hummer: Based on what you just posted than perhaps you should go to a better school or you work harder to be a better student? I will be back in the classroom this evening, again. As I am multiple times, each week. Plus being in an on-line class/classroom each and everyday

            Making assumptions, with no research or fact to support the statement, such as you did, is an indicator of an illogical, or undisciplined mind.

            Any good school/instructor does not teach students to spout bias. The major purpose of a post-secondary education should be to teach students how to learn and think for themselves.

            Which is why totalitarian regimes, make a habit of first eliminating professors and those with university educations.

            Perhaps you should read about the White Rose group. I am sure that you will find it ‘educational’.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Please disregard my previous post, I have tried to get it deleted, without success.

            @Hummer: Based on what you just posted than perhaps you should enroll in a better school or make more of an effort to get to know your instructors. I will be back in the classroom this evening, again. As I am multiple times, each week. Plus being in an on-line class/classroom each and everyday.

            Thankfully you used the qualifier ‘probably’. Making blanket assumptions, with no research or fact to support the statement, is generally an indicator of an illogical, or undisciplined mind.

            Any good school/instructor does not teach students to spout bias. The major purpose of a post-secondary education should be to teach students how to learn and think for themselves. To question authority and to speak out ‘when the Emperor has no clothes’.

            Which is why totalitarian regimes, make a habit of first eliminating professors and those with university educations.

            Perhaps you would enjoy reading about the White Rose group? I believe that you will find it ‘educational’.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I went to an excellent school, and the vast majority of my classes were heavy math/science, classes universally run by professors that didn’t feel the need to spew their political beliefs at every chance. The few classes that were not math/science based (university requirements) were run by rabid liberals, classes that were easily completed with papers and class work pandering to the professors political beliefs.

            Of course my professors in engineering tended to be from the industry and were not life long professors. Which in my opinion is just as bad as career politicians unless those professors actually pursue research that advances mankind rather than regurgitating old topics or doing bs social engineering/justice crap.

            Good professors never allow personal beliefs into their lessons.

        • 0 avatar
          AdamOfAus

          Are you sure about that? The violent mobs that call anyone who doesn’t agree with them racists, has me thinking otherwise. Why are professors only supportive of free speech/violence of one political bent?

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Not all professors are of the same political stripe. For example here in Toronto we have Jordan Peterson.

            Agree with Hummer, in that professors should leave their students guessing regarding which way they lean politically. Provide the pros and cons to all sides to any issue.

            Also agree that more ‘real world’ experience is beneficial to those who teach. The ‘town versus gown’ argument is still oft times pertinent.

            In Ontario we have recently had 2 reported instances of ‘foreign’ students who are Chinese nationals (there are approximately 140,000 of these in Canadian universities/colleges) starting concerted social media campaigns against other students who support a) Tibetan independence or b) reporting on the Chinese government’s reported suppression of some their Uighur minority.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            When I taught a very low level Political Sci class at the university level I was fortunate to have several students of Middle Eastern descent whose parents had fled their homelands during the conservative revolutions of the 1970s.

            I didn’t have to let anyone know my personal feelings about theocracies (parliamentary or otherwise) – I simply let the students speak.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Awesome, but how can those enticements begin to compare with Mexico autoworkers? And I’m not just talking pay scales.

  • avatar

    US is such an evil racist capitalist country, why Canadian do not invite caring and progressive Japanese and Germans automakers to open plants in Canada?


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • redapple: Hatch struts still work? W T Fudge? My sawed off broomstick handle was always in the back.
  • kosmo: “How’s that Ranger Raptor coming, Ford? Oh, it isn’t? I see. Thanks for the mobility scooter,...
  • dividebytube: When I’m down south I’m taken aback by the number of decent looking old trucks and even G...
  • redapple: RED…. Great catch. Love it.
  • teddyc73: What an ugly rear end.

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States