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Stellantis 'does not confirm' new Windsor EV battery plant deal

Stellantis does not confirm that a deal has been reached to secure the $5-billion NextStar EV battery plant in Windsor.

The company issued a statement on Thursday.

“Stellantis does not confirm what has been reported and to date has not received an official response from its previously sent letters,” said LouAnn Gosselin, head of communications for Stellantis.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford also made a comment about Stellantis while in Essex County on Thursday.

“Let’s all make sure we go to church twice on Sunday to make sure we get the Stellantis deal done,” said Ford.

On Wednesday, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said reports a deal was reached has him “cautiously optimistic that we’re tracking closer to a solution” — but says don’t get comfortable until it’s confirmed.

“I think the reporting in the Toronto Star is far too premature,” Dilkens says Wednesday evening.

“I won’t have the comfort that I need and I think the rest of the community needs until the federal government and LG and Stellantis come forward saying they have an agreement and construction is going to restart.”Stellantis and LG Energy Solution EV battery plant construction site in Windsor, Ont., on Monday, May 15, 2023. (Sijia Liu/CTV News Windsor)

The Toronto Star reported Wednesday afternoon a tentative deal has been reached, citing unnamed government sources.

According to the Star, federal and provincial money would see Stellantis and LG receive more than the $13-billion in subsidies offered to Volkswagen for its planned plant in St. Thomas.

The NextStar plant has been expected to bring more than 3,000 jobs to Windsor-Essex, with Dilkens saying spinoff could amount to nine additional jobs for everyone at the factory.

The mayor launched an online petition last Friday, asking residents to express their concerns over the stalled construction.

Dilkens says the duty to reach that deal falls on Ottawa.

“It’s the federal government’s responsibility to get this over the finish line, and I’m hopeful that they’re able to do that ASAP,” he says.

He said Ford, who’s government offered to increase the $500-million subsidy already offered to Stellantis, has been a great partner.

Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli said at Queen's Park Thursday it is now up to the federal government to close the deal, but the province will be there to support.

“We’ve been on the phone, the premier, myself with the feds, with Stellantis over the last several days. We’re getting there, but we urge the feds – this is the feds that need to close their deal with Stellantis now,” he said.

“We’ve been very clear. Premier Ford has been extremely clear that we, the province, is prepared to assist the feds financially in closing their deal with Stellantis.” 

Some construction has been stopped at the site on Banwell Road since May 12 while negotiations take place.

Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said Wednesday a deal to save a $5-billion electric vehicle battery plant in Windsor is inching closer,.

"I would say everyone should take a deep breath, things are going well, the negotiations are progressing," Champagne said following a Liberal caucus meeting in Ottawa.

"We're getting closer to the end of the negotiation."

~ With files from The Canadian Press. Top Stories

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