Skip to main content

'Get the deal done': City, county leaders unite in plea to secure NextStar Energy battery plant

A united front was on full display Monday as community leaders, politicians, business people, unions and educators gathered together at Windsor City Hall to ensure the NextStar Energy battery plant deal gets closed.

The resounding message was crystal clear, with Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens plainly stating, “Get the deal done.”

Construction at the module portion of the NextStar Energy battery plant has been idled for two weeks while Stellantis and LG Energy Solution negotiate with the federal government. While a deal was in place in March of 2022, the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) created competitive incentives for companies building electric vehicle components stateside putting pressure on the Canadian government to come back to the table and match those incentives.

“Today we find ourselves at an impasse,” said Dilkens. “And now, the future of the entire project is at risk due to prolonged negotiations with the federal government.”

“We have to make sure everybody's screaming on this,” said Unifor local 444 president Dave Cassidy. He’s been talking with government and company officials every day over the past two weeks and says Stellantis indicates there’s still time to make a deal, but that time is running out.

“I don't think that runway is too long. It's short, and hopefully in the next day or so this will get wrapped up,” he said.

.Stellantis and LG Energy Solution EV battery plant construction site in Windsor, Ont., on Monday, May 15, 2023. (Sijia Liu/CTV News Windsor)

Mayor Dilkens is making a notice of motion at Monday’s city council meeting, urging the federal government to act swiftly to finalize the agreement.

“They are the ones that have the capacity to follow through on the commitment that they made, which is to match the IRA incentives with our largest employer” Dilkens said. “We're going to hold their feet to the fire.”

Windsor-Tecumseh MP Irek Kusmierczyk said the magnitude of the deal is much larger than in March of 2022 but the feds are hoping all sides can stretch to get a deal done.

“This is the most important investment in the history of our community in Windsor Essex and that’s what gives me confidence, we all recognize it, we’re all working towards it, we will get an agreement, we will have a battery plant built here in Windsor,” he said Monday.

CTV reached out to Stellantis, which once again declined to comment Monday.

Dilkens mentioned his biggest fear is that negotiations drag out or go sideway and the company pulls out entirely and relocates the $5 billion investment to Michigan.

Cassidy is confident a deal will get done — and hopes this final push will show the negotiating parties the importance of the project.

“When we're all together and we're moving this forward, we're going to win on this,” he said.

“We are going to win on this project come hell or high water.” Top Stories

Stay Connected