Volkswagen’s electric vehicle battery plant will create thousands of new jobs
For generations, St. Thomas, just like so many other communities in Ontario, has been an auto town, from assembly plants to material suppliers, to local restaurants where workers go for lunch. And thank you, Maria, for being here to represent this community and show the impact that this is going to have on the larger community. Made in Canada here in St. Thomas always meant good jobs and a strong community. So I don’t have to tell anyone here why it matters that Canada secured this deal to build a massive electric vehicle battery factory in St. Thomas.
With this historic project, we’re not just bringing back manufacturing. We’re bringing back a strong, thriving economy for this community, and we’re delivering a national anchor for Canada’s electric vehicle supply chain.
The Volkswagen EV battery plant is a generational investment in St. Thomas and in all of Ontario and Canada. This project alone will create up to 3,000 direct jobs and up to 30,000 indirect jobs. In other words, this means good careers for years to come in St. Thomas and great middle class jobs right across Ontario and the rest of Canada. I think of Gordon and Murphy, two of the young men with us this morning doing an auto skills program who may one day work at this battery plant or the local electric vehicle factory. Or Maria, who just shared her story, and this project will mean more business for her café and for restaurant and café owners like her. Or the workers far from here at critical mineral plants I’ve met across the country, delivering the raw materials that will power these electric vehicle batteries.
The Volkswagen electric vehicle battery plant is a generational investment not just here in St. Thomas, but in all of Ontario and the rest of Canada. This project alone will create up to 3,000 direct jobs and up to 30,000 indirect jobs. Across the country, the St. Thomas plant will be an anchor for the electric vehicle supply chain, and it is a historic achievement for workers across the country.
But like I said from the beginning, this deal is about workers. It’s why our government, alongside the Government of Ontario, invested to bring this project to Canada. It isn’t called a gigafactory for nothing. It will create thousands upon thousands of great jobs. It’ll be worth over $200 billion to the Canadian economy over the coming decades.
It will provide millions upon millions of batteries to power Canada’s auto industry, which is the engine, one of the engines of our clean economy. An economic impact of this project will be equal to the value of government investment in less than five years.
That’s the math that matters. And on that note, I want to recognize the partnership of Premier Ford. By working together, we can deliver big things because made in Canada is about so much more than just building stuff here. It’s about building a strong future for the middle class, a strong future for their kids.
Over the last year and a half, we have attracted many projects to Ontario and to Canada. I am thinking, for example, of the GM plant in Ingersoll, the Stellantis plant in Windsor, and the Rio Tinto critical minerals plant in Quebec, which produces essential elements for clean technology. These agreements represent tens of thousands of jobs and tens of billions of dollars. And with Budget 2023, we are taking another step forward by proposing investments in clean tech manufacturing, building electric vehicles, and so much more.
So to the politicians who say we still have to choose between the environment and the economy, I say take a close look at what Canadians, Canadian workers, are accomplishing. We can and we will continue to deliver great middle class jobs and clean air at the same time.
Unbelievably, there are still those who continue to say that there is a choice to be made between protecting the environment and growing the economy. Here, today, no one should continue to doubt that building a strong economy with great jobs for the middle class must go hand in hand with clean air and a brighter future for this country.