Norris McDonald is a retired Toronto Star editor who continues to write for Wheels under contract.
Vic Fedeli, who’s the provincial minister of economic development, job creation and trade, and I have a couple of things in common, among them our affection for northern Ontario.
He’s a former mayor of North Bay and represents the riding of Nipissing in the legislature. I was a kid in Kapuskasing.
We had a long chat just before Christmas about how southern Ontario benefited in 2020 by $5 billion in auto industry investment that will result in several thousand new jobs and the preservation of thousands of others.
But what really had us excited was how northern Ontario will benefit in the next 12 months as the supply chain for electric batteries and vehicles gets up and running. But first, a review.
Fedeli reminded me that over a matter of weeks in the late part of last year, Ford announced it was investing more than $2 billion to transform its Oakville Assembly Complex into a global hub for battery electric vehicle production, Fiat Chrysler was planning a major retooling of its Windsor Assembly Plant for more electric vehicles and General Motors said it would bring pickup-truck production back to the Oshawa Assembly Plant, which was supposed to close.