As both provinces race to woo automakers and battery makers, a new quandary could arise
Ontario Premier Doug Ford this past fall spoke at a provincial construction industry conference and told his audience that his province would be at the vanguard of the next revolution in automotive production. “We’re going to be the No. 1 manufacturer of electric cars anywhere,” he said.
Similar things are said next door in Quebec. Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon regularly brags about the powerful combination of his province’s rich mineral endowment and the cheap, low-emission electricity produced by Hydro-Québec.
“If we play our cards right, we could become world leaders in this market of the future,” he said at a press conference a year ago.
In Ontario, which has been the locus of Canada’s auto sector for decades, months have come and gone without any new battery manufacturing projects being announced. But in Quebec, nodes that could become part of a North American supply chain for electric-vehicle battery production are already popping up.