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Stellantis stalemate, growing 'code black' crisis in Essex County, and a freighter stuck in the Detroit River: Top Windsor stories this week

Most of construction has been halted at the new EV battery site while Doug Ford promises more provincial funding, the Town of Essex makes an urgent appeal to resolve healthcare gaps, and a freighter was stuck in mud in the Detroit River for most of the day.

Here’s a look at the top stories on this week.

Construction stops at Windsor EV battery plant site, Stellantis says feds have 'not delivered'

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

Stellantis has confirmed that construction has stopped at the Windsor EV battery plant site.

In a statement Stellantis said “the Canadian Government has not delivered on what was agreed to therefore Stellantis and LG Energy Solution will begin implementing their contingency plans.”

“Effective immediately, all construction related to the battery module production on the Windsor site has stopped,” said a revised statement on Monday.

News of the potential stoppage of the project came after the Toronto Star reported Friday that Stellantis may scrap plans for the Windsor plant if provincial and federal governments did not boost funding. This, after Volkswagen was offered hefty subsidies from the feds — to the tune of $13 billion to build in St. Thomas.

‘It's getting worse’: Town of Essex urgently calls on province to help fix growing ‘code black’ crisis

Ambulances at the Ouellette Campus of Windsor Regional Hospital in Windsor, Ont., on Oct. 5, 2022. (Melanie Borrelli/CTV News Windsor)

The Town of Essex is making an urgent appeal to the province to take decisive action to resolve gaps in the local healthcare system, after three code blacks were issued in Windsor-Essex over the past week.

A code black occurs when offload delays at the hospital are so severe, there aren’t any ambulances left to respond to calls.

According to Essex-Windsor EMD Chief Bruce Krauter, the county ambulance system experienced code black situations on May 8, then again on May 12 and 13.

"It's not getting better. In fact, it's getting worse," said Essex Coun. Kim Verbeek after a meeting of council Monday night.

Freighter stuck in the Detroit River

Ship stuck in the Detroit River near Belle Isle, Mich. on Wednesday, May 17, 2023. (Bob Bellacicco/CTV News Windsor)

The ship Mark W. Barker has been stuck was mud in the Detroit River front of Reaume Park in Windsor on Wednesday.

“On their way to Milwaukee she (the ship) lost her propulsion and is soft aground off Belle Isle,” harbourmaster Peter Berry tells CTV News.

Berry says the ship was not damaged and hasn’t released any chemicals into the water.

The Mark Barker was loaded with 20,000 tonnes of salt from an American company, according to Berry.

Windsor officer penalized for $50 donation to Freedom Convoy movement

Police hand out new notices to convoy protesters on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022. (Graham Richardson/CTV News Ottawa)

Windsor police Const. Michael Jason Brisco learned Thursday he must forfeit 80 hours as a penalty for being found guilty of one count of discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act (PSA).

“Constable Brisco betrayed the trust of his fellow officers, the community and the Windsor Police Service (WPS),” Adjudicator Morris Elbers wrote in his decision. “The donation which was made was in total opposition to the hardworking police officers from across the province who worked day and night to keep the peace in Ottawa and Windsor specifically and elsewhere in this country.”

During a seven-day hearing earlier this year, Brisco admitted to donating $50 through an online crowd-funding site on Feb. 8, 2022, two days after the Ottawa Police Service declared a state of emergency.

At the time, Brisco was off on unpaid leave of absence because he did not meet the requirements set out in the WPS COVID-19 vaccination policy.

Doug Ford says province will offer more money to keep EV battery plant in Windsor

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

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has promised the province will offer up more money towards the incentive package already on the table to keep Stellantis/LG from pulling the NextStar Energy battery plant from Windsor.

The premier made comments Friday at an event in Niagara.

“I will confirm we're putting more money on the table there,” said Ford. “This is all about saving jobs, and giving people the quality of life they deserve in southwestern Ontario.”

The premier would not divulge how much money the province would be putting up “until the announcement comes out,” but sounded optimistic that the federal requests for Ontario to step up to the plate and provide more funding to secure the deal would help solidify an agreement with Stellantis. Top Stories

Ford offers Unifor wage increases up to 25 per cent

Ford Motor has offered Canadian union Unifor wage increases of up to 25 per cent in its tentative agreement, the union said on Saturday. The agreement provides a 10 per cent wage increase for the first year followed by increases of two per cent and three per cent through the second and third year and a $10,000 productivity and quality bonus to all employees on the active roll of the company, Unifor said.

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