Conservatives, NDP demand Ottawa protect Canadians’ jobs at new EV plants

OTTAWA — Federal Conservatives and New Democrats are demanding assurances from Ottawa that local jobs will be protected at new electric-vehicle plants.

Canada’s Building Trades Union says Canadian workers are being sidelined in favour of foreign workers at the NextStar battery plant in Windsor, Ont., owned by Stellantis and LG Energy Solution.

Both Stellantis and the federal government say foreign workers account for just 72 jobs, and specialized equipment is being installed that Canadians will be taught to use.

But the union’s executive director Sean Strickland says those are tasks that Canadian workers can already handle. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the latest multi-billion dollar EV project in southern Ontario today as the Canadian auto industry sees a battery-powered renaissance. 

Trudeau sidestepped a question about how jobs for Canadian workers can be protected under the Honda deal. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 25, 2024. 

The Canadian Press