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Ontario Auto Mayors discuss the future of auto industry in the province

May 26, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

The auto industry is one of the leading industries, if not the actual base of manufacturing in Ontario.

Mayors from cities and towns across the province who have a direct link to the auto manufacturing industry gathered in Brampton for the Ontario Auto Mayors meeting on Friday, May 12, to discuss a collective path forward to support auto sector growth.

There are many cities and towns in the province that not only have auto manufacturing facilities but also off-shoot industries that supply parts.

In New Tecumseth, Honda is king, employing nearly 5,000 people. Several other companies in Town employ local residents and people from other areas that produce needed parts.

“The future of the automotive landscape is being forged in Ontario,” said Oakville Mayor Rob Burton, chair of the Ontario Auto Mayors. “Major investments made by industry in partnership with the federal and provincial governments are transforming the sector, and the Auto Mayors remain committed to working hand-in-hand with industry to support this exciting transformation.”

Oakville is the headquarters of Ford Canada and also has a manufacturing plant.

The meeting opened with a showcase of Project Arrow, the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association’s electric concept vehicle.

Mayors from 21 cities and towns attended the meeting.

The group approved a new 2023 Action Plan, which includes a strategic focus on supporting the industry’s transition to electric vehicles and advocating for a coordinated government response to address rising vehicle thefts.

The mayors discussed improving the competitive business environment to attract new investment in the automotive sector and enhancing the industry support ecosystem while creating a business environment that promotes the retention and growth of Ontario’s existing automotive manufacturing base. Another theme from the meeting was leading proactive policies and infrastructure investments to support the industry transition to electric vehicles.

With transportation transitioning to electric power, getting ready for the switch was a significant discussion at the meeting.

“We’re trying to explore policy, and best practices in communities, to make sure we have EV adapters and that type of thing,” explained New Tecumseth Mayor Richard Norcross, who attended the meeting. “We need to have these charging stations and places for people to charge their vehicles. We had a great meeting. We looked at the new Arrow car and had a presentation on that. We want to keep the auto industry strong, and we want to keep the here. They’re the backbone of manufacturing in Ontario, and we need to make sure we work hand-in-hand with the provincial and federal governments to supply them with the tools that they need to remain competitive in the market place, and create more good paying jobs in their respective municipalities.”

The meeting also discussed the current auto-theft problem that is seeing vehicles in Canada stolen and shipped overseas.

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