Essex Engine Plant getting $200M from federal and provincial governments
Published Wednesday, March 29, 2017 3:18PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, March 30, 2017 7:04PM EDT
The Essex Engine Plant is getting $200 million from the federal and provincial governments.
They are each providing Ford Canada with a conditional grant of up to $102.4 million toward a $1-billion partnership with Ford Motor Company of Canada.
The investment is expected to create 300 new jobs at Ford operations in Ontario and protect hundreds more.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Kathleen Wynne made the announcement at the Essex Engine Plant Thursday morning.
“This is an emotional day for me,” says Trudeau. He says his father broke ground on that plant almost 40 years ago.
With this investment, Ford is establishing an advanced manufacturing program at its Windsor Operations, which will transform the site into a world-class powertrain facility.
"I'm quite frankly humbled to be standing here today to be able to announce that we are securing this industry and good jobs in Windsor-Essex for generations to come," Trudeau said. "Today is a big step forward."
Trudeau said the funding would allow Ford to say "innovative and cutting edge."
"Our government is committed to helping our most competitive industries get ahead," he said.
Ford has also dedicated $337.9 million towards establishing a new Ottawa Connectivity and Innovation Centre that will draw on the expertise of Ontario’s highly skilled workers to deliver the next generation of connected car technology, with satellite campuses in Oakville and Waterloo.
“This investment demonstrates how Ford is transforming to be both an auto and mobility company. With strategic partnerships, Canada can compete and win in the global auto industry,” says Mark Buzzell, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company of Canada.
The new Innovation centre will create 295 jobs for highly-skilled research and design workers in Ottawa.
“The auto industry drives Ontario’s economy — and provides thousands of good jobs for people in communities right across the province” says Wynne. “Its growth is good for everyone. I am so pleased to work with our partners, Ford of Canada and the Canadian government, to support innovation and ensure the continued success of Ontario’s auto industry — now and into the future.”
Federal Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, who also attended the Windsor announcement, has said the feds are open to helping the automakers expand their footprints in Canada.
He's indicated a particular interest in investments that would support the more technologically advanced and research-focused areas of the auto industry.
Bains, in charge of overseeing Ottawa's "innovation agenda," has also said the government wants to make sure Canada is on the "cutting edge of the car of the future."
Last year, the three largest North American automakers committed to pump more than $1 billion combined into their Canadian operations following contract talks with their unionized workers.
Ford has said it would invest about $700 million at its Ontario facilities.
Prime Minister Trudeau conducted a TV exclusive one-on-one interview with Jim Crichton that will air at CTV Windsor at 6 p.m.
With files from The Canadian Press.