Remarks on investment by Canada and Quebec in Lion Electric
I’m happy to be here this morning with Premier Legault.
François, it’s so nice to see you in person.
We also have with us François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry; Pierre Fitzgibbon, Quebec’s Minister of Economy and Innovation; as well as Marc Bédard, president and founder of Lion Electric.
It’s wonderful to be here with you all today.
Before we begin, I’d like to say a few words about the immunization campaign that is ramping up across the country.
This morning, I visited the vaccination site here at the convention centre.
I can tell you that it is good to see more and more people getting vaccinated.
You can just imagine the smiles hiding behind their masks.
Every time a parent or grandparent calls their loved ones to say that they’ve gotten their vaccine, another family breathes a sigh of relief.
In Quebec, more than 750,000 vaccines have been administered so far.
Across the country, more than 3 million vaccines have been administered so far, and that number will keep going up.
From March 22nd to May 10th, Canada will receive at least a million doses a week from Pfizer alone.
Whether it’s here in Montreal, or in hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies across the country, I want to thank each and every healthcare worker who’s part of this effort.
We’re now in the ramp up phase of this vaccination and, with your help, more Canadians are protected every day.
Of course, ramping up efforts to keep people safe and communities healthy doesn’t stop with vaccines, and that’s what we’re here to talk about today.
A little over a year ago, I visited the Lion Electric plant in Saint-Jérôme, accompanied by Marc and several of his employees.
As I said that day, one of our top priorities is strategically supporting the manufacturing sector with projects that will boost electrification of transportation.
Now more than ever, we need to look to the future and continue working to make Canada a leader when it comes to clean energy and transportation.
It’s important so that our children and their children can live in a healthy environment.
And it’s important so that our workers can have good quality, good-paying jobs here in Quebec and throughout Canada. Today, we are taking another step in the right direction.
Through the Net Zero Accelerator fund, the federal government will invest nearly $50 million in a new plant in Saint-Jérôme that will assemble battery packs for Lion’s zero emissions vehicles.
With this plant, Lion will become the first medium- and heavy-duty vehicle manufacturer in Canada to produce its own batteries.
Eighty per cent of the parts used by Lion Electric to build their vehicles are sourced from almost 300 Canadian suppliers.
So not only will today’s investment help create directly more than 285 good jobs over the next few years, it will also support the entire Canadian supply chain.
And that means even more good jobs right across the country.
As cities, governments, and businesses move more and more to electric vehicles, demand is growing, and it’s growing fast. We’re here to support that clean transition.
Earlier this month, we announced funding to electrify transit systems – funding that will help us deliver on our commitment to put 5,000 zero emission buses on Canadian roads in the next five years.
With these types of projects and by continuing to work together towards the same goal, we will exceed our targets for 2030 and reach our zero emissions target by 2050.
This is exactly the type of project that comes to mind when we talk about an economic recovery that is good for workers, families and the environment.
Before I finish, I’d like to once again thank Minister Champagne for his remarkable work and, of course, I’d like to thank the Government of Quebec and Lion Electric.
Marc, you have built a real showpiece in Quebec and today, we can say that the entire country stands behind your employees and you.
By placing innovation at the heart of our recovery, we will build a cleaner and more prosperous economy for everyone.