Canada’s first full-scale electric vehicle manufacturing plant
Thank you, Mark.
It’s so great to see you and Marissa, and everyone here from GM who made this happen. Happy to be here with Lloyd Longfield, who’s a regional MP and a hardworking member of our amazing auto caucus. Travis of BrightDrop, Lana of Unifor and, of course, Premier Ford and Minister Fedeli. Thank you very much for being here.
I want to say hi to Brian Petrie as well, the new mayor of Ingersoll. Congratulations, look forward to working with you. Look forward to showing up with lots of great announcements, but this is a big one. It’s great to be with all of you to share this really good news today, but we wouldn’t be here today, even for all the hard work everyone sitting in this front row did; we would not be here today if it wasn’t for these people, for all of the workers here that made this happen.
Because I get to travel around the world and pitch to a whole bunch of different companies. Last time I was standing with Premier Ford at an announcement like this, it was an announcement at Nokia that featured a real strong emphasis on research and development here in Canada for the Finnish telecommunications giant. We pointed out there was millions of dollars invested by governments to draw them in, but every government in the world would love to invest millions of dollars to draw in places like this.
There’s a huge competition around the world to try and make sure that we are part of the future, that we’re securing future for communities, for workers, and their families and yes, government can step up with money and we do, but the best-selling point we have is always, invariably, and inevitably, the extraordinary workers of plants like this. So, thank you very much for everything you guys are doing.
You see, eight months ago, we announced investments to retool the CAMI EV assembly plant here in Ingersoll. Then, GM began working to get CAMI ready for electric vehicle production and today, as Mark pointed out, in record time, we’re opening the first full-scale commercial electric vehicle plant in Canada.
Today, we are opening the first full-scale commercial electric vehicle plant in the country. We are maintaining thousands of jobs for the middle class. This is excellent news for our auto workers and it’s good news for our environment, because it is by transitioning to electric vehicles that we ensure that our children have clean air and good jobs for generations to come.
When we invested in GM’s project, we knew we’d get results. Now, as the first BrightDrop electric vans come off the line, we get to see these results and it’s great to be here with Doug and Vic, but usually there’s four of us for these announcements and our friend Francois-Philippe Champagne, who worked incredibly hard as Industry Minister, if he were here, he’d be pointing out, Mark, the time of the text he sent you to get this rolling. He is tireless, as all our team members are, in drawing in announcements and he really wishes he could be here today, but we have him over in Europe right now, securing more deals for more workers across this country to be able to deliver for more jobs for Canadians.
And of course, I want to thank the people at GM and Unifor, and Premier Ford and his team, for working together as partners to make this happen. But mostly, again, we need to talk about Canadian workers who—your skills, your ambition, and your hard work—get the economy going and help us convince big companies like GM to continue investing in Canada. You know, just a few weeks ago, I was in the Indo-Pacific to strengthen our economic ties with the region, to create good jobs in Canada, and more opportunities for our businesses. We know how important Asia is to the growing global economy. So, during that G20 in Indonesia, I spoke to a room filled with business leaders to pitch them on what we’re doing here in Canada, on why investing in Canada is exactly the right thing, so it’s not just people who are as close as GM is, who sees up front all the potential that Canada has, but people from around the world noticing what Canada has.
We have the values that make us reliable partners to invest in, to grow in, to commit to generations worth of work. I’ve been talking with some of the workers here this morning, been here for 25, 30 years, seen all the different iterations of it and that’s what people get. When they invest in Canada, you get that reliability for decades, for generations to come. We also have the raw materials that the global economy needs. We know that there’s a lot of questions a whole bunch of companies around the world have around the supply of essential goods, of raw materials, of energy they’re going to need. We’ve seen Russia is an unreliable partner. We’ve seen increasing challenges from China. We know we need to be delivering those raw materials from reliable, friendly, environmentally protecting countries like Canada and there’s a huge amount of interest in Asia and around the world at Canada being part of how we move forward as a world.
And most importantly, of everything I was selling businesses around the world on, it’s Canadians themselves. Our strong, educated, diverse workforce that is the envy of the world. With immigration, we’re actually growing faster than all other G7 countries. Our education system, our liveable communities, the opportunities we have to build bright futures for people from coast to coast to coast, despite and because of the transformations in the global economy, gets that mix of ambition and forward-thinking, roll-up-your-sleeves hard work that has characterized and defined Canadians for the longest time. We’re creating a whole supply chain here in Canada so that autoworkers here in Ontario will be able to build electric vehicles with batteries made in Quebec from nickel mined in northern Ontario and lithium from Alberta, with made-in-Canada steel and aluminum that is some of the cleanest in the world.
I can tell you that international investors are noticing, for example, they’re noticing full on that, with our government’s efforts, we’ve gone from fifth in the world to second in the world when it comes to the battery supply chain. We’re growing a strong middle class in Canada so workers, their families, and everyone can succeed.
There are still politicians who think we need to choose between the environment and the economy. And when we see what we are building here and elsewhere in the country, it’s clear that protecting the environment and the economy must go hand in hand. The plant we’re in today plans to manufacture 50,000 electric utility vehicles per year by 2025. This concrete result is exactly what we will continue to deliver.
We know the world is changing. We know we’re facing significant challenges in the way we do things and the way we need to do things to make sure that future generations have the best chances ever. But that’s what we’re up to as a task. Seven years ago, when we first took office, we talked about the fact that climate change was both a massive challenge and a real opportunity. Well, for the first few years, we ended up talking much more about the challenge it represented than the opportunity, but over the past while with a whole bunch of great announcements with Doug, with premiers across the country that go straight to this, people are seeing tangibly that this means good jobs now and good jobs reliably into the future. That’s what people want for their families, for their communities, for their country, and that’s what, together, we’re delivering.