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Ontario Premier Doug Ford at the April 21, 2023 announcement of Volkswagen's first Canadian plant. Photo: YouTube
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Canada invests up to $13 billion to bring Volkswagen to Ontario

In an epic press conference including politicians from every level of government and executives from Volkswagen, the word “massive” was used often and emphatically to describe the investment, the plant, the opportunity, and the number of jobs expected to result from the building of a battery plant the size of 16 football fields. Image: YouTube

On April 21st, 2023, the announcement that Volkswagen will build its first Canadian plant in St. Thomas was made official.

Premier Doug Ford and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were joined by Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and the federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, to announce the deal for St. Thomas, Ontario, and Canada’s entire electric vehicle supply chain.

Last month, Ontario and Canada secured the investment from Volkswagen, Europe’s largest automaker. Volkswagen is investing $7 billion to establish its first overseas electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant in St. Thomas, Ontario. Canada’s investment in the project will range between $8 billion and $13 billion dollars, depending upon timing and when Volkswagen turns out the first finished product, Prime Minister Trudeau told media at the event.

This is the largest electric vehicle-related investment in Canadian history and is considered by politicians to be a strong vote of confidence in Ontario and Canada’s skilled workers, economy, and business environment.

The plant, Volkswagen’s largest to date, will create up to 3,000 direct jobs and up to 30,000 indirect jobs. Once complete in 2027, the plant will produce batteries for up to one million electric vehicles per year, bolstering Canada’s domestic battery manufacturing capacity. The plant, which will generate about $200 billion in value, will be the largest manufacturing plant in Canada. Construction is expected to begin next year.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has announced the province will invest in other infrastructure projects across the region, including improvements to roads, highways, utility services, and police and fire services.