(WINDSOR, ON) – Just after the Ontario government issued a plan to lower hydro rates in the province, the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association issued an announcement saying the changes will do little for vehicle manufacturing.
In a news release, the Association’s president, Mark Nantais, was critical of the changes, suggesting they, “… do nothing to address a climate of investment uncertainty related to what has been our number one request to the Province of Ontario; the urgent need to address out of control Class A industrial electricity rates.”
Nantais said he is concerned over rates as much as two to three times higher in Ontario than in competing auto jurisdictions.
“We will continue to reach out to the province to see what can be done,” Nantais said. “But, this is a major disappointment for vehicle assemblers and their parts and component manufacturing operations.”
With the Wynne government’s carbon pricing and cap and trade taxes looming over the industry, the Association is concerned the province will, “… remain uncompetitive with other jurisdictions vying for automotive investment.”
The Association says the provincial government must address the taxation issue in the short term to support Ontario’s vehicle manufacturing competitiveness and temper the overall cost of doing business in the province.
Members of the Association include automobile manufacturer FCA Canada and Ford of Canada. Both have operations in Windsor, manufacturing vehicles and engines respectively.
In total, 130,000 jobs in the province are directly tied to vehicle assembly. Direct and indirect jobs associated with vehicle manufacturing are estimated at over 500,000 across Canada.