Premier Ford Champions Northern Ontario’s Role in Fuelling EV Industry Growth

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Premier Doug Ford at Heddle Shipyards
Premier Doug Ford at Heddle Shipyards

THUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – Ontario Premier Doug Ford is optimistic about Northern Ontario’s mining sector driving the province’s ascent as a key player in the battery electric vehicle (BEV) industry.

Addressing the 2024 Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) conference on January 23 in Toronto, Ford emphasized the critical role of Ontario’s mineral wealth in shaping the future of electric vehicles.

“Our province’s electric vehicle industry is set to benefit every community for generations, thanks in part to our rich resources in Northern Ontario,” Ford asserts. “We’re creating an integrated EV supply chain, right from our critical minerals in the North to clean steel production in Hamilton and Sault Ste. Marie, and further to automakers and battery manufacturers province-wide, all fuelled by clean, affordable Ontario energy.”

Ford highlighted the significant strides made in recent years, with Ontario securing over $28 billion in automotive and EV investments. This includes Volkswagen’s $7 billion investment in a new battery plant in St. Thomas, Ontario.

“These investments aren’t just about numbers. They’re creating thousands of jobs and sustaining hundreds of thousands more in the supply chain, cementing Ontario as a frontrunner in the electric vehicle revolution,” said Ford.

The Premier also noted Ontario’s unique standing as home to the six largest automakers in the world. “As our economy expands, so does our population, making Ontario the fastest-growing region in North America,” he added.

Shifting focus to transportation in Northern Ontario, Ford discussed the government’s investment in the region’s connectivity. This includes purchasing three new locomotives and passenger cars for the Northlander passenger trains, enhancing travel between Toronto, Timmins, and Cochrane. “This is about making life easier for families across Ontario,” Ford remarked.

The Premier also mentioned the government’s recent advancement in developing the Ring of Fire region, a significant mining area in Northwestern Ontario, through the approval of an Environmental Assessment led by First Nations. This step is pivotal for the all-season roads project in the area.

Premier Ford’s message underscores the integral role of Northern Ontario’s mining industry in powering the province’s economic growth, particularly in the burgeoning electric vehicle sector. This focus not only promises substantial economic benefits but also positions Thunder Bay and surrounding areas at the heart of a transformative industrial movement.

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