OPINION: How much is Canada willing to pay for a battery plant in the Great Subsidy War? – by Campbell Clark (Globe and Mail – March 9, 2023)


Imagine for a moment what would happen if Canada’s auto industry was sucked away into the United States. Tens of thousands of jobs and a big chunk of the $19-billion a year the sector contributes to Canada’s gross domestic product would slip away. How much would a Canadian government pay to stop that?

That’s a question the current government in Ottawa seems to think it is facing. It’s a debatable point in and of itself, but the Liberals are out to secure electric-vehicle battery plants in Canada because they think that is key to keeping an active auto industry in Canada – and also that it will build a battery sector, too.

Still, there is an unanswered question: How much should we pay? That question is curiously absent from Canada’s political debate, though the scale of the potential sums is enormous because of the massive subsidies in the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act.

If you look closely at a recent report on green-technology incentives by Clean Prosperity and The Transition Accelerator, it provides an idea of how much it would cost to compete with U.S. incentives for two EV battery plants: roughly $40-billion.

For the rest of this column: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-how-much-is-canada-willing-to-pay-for-a-battery-plant-in-the-great/