In the early morning hours of Sept. 22, the day before Canada launched its COVID-19 recovery plan, Ford Motor Company officials and union representatives reached an ambitious climate deal of their own at a negotiating table.
The company’s plant in Oakville, roughly 45 minutes west of Toronto, was expected to soon be on the chopping block: another victim of manufacturing’s slow erosion in what was once Canada’s heartland for automotive production. Instead, Ford promised to spend nearly $2 billion to produce five new electric vehicle (EV) models at the plant along with an engine contract for a factory in Windsor, Ont. Both the provincial and federal governments would chip in just $500 million to retool both factories.
This sort of commitment is unheard of for a major automaker in Canada. “Up until today, of the $300 billion announced globally in EV inv
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