The lawyer representing a number of First Nations communities opposed to the Ford government’s plans for the Ring of Fire is cautioning that the province’s long-term electric vehicle battery manufacturing strategy might be a “fool’s errand.”
Premier Doug Ford agreed to enter into a pact with the federal government to offer hefty subsidies to companies that choose to build lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles in Ontario, seen as the next frontier in the province’s auto manufacturing strategy. Both governments have poured billions into packages to tempt car makers to set up in the province.
Already, Ontario has agreed to give German automaker Volkswagen and Amsterdam-based automaker Stellantis up to $10 billion in tax breaks for the production of millions of batteries set to come off the assembly lines over the next decade.
In order to scale up the province’s battery manufacturing presence, however, the Ford government might need to unlock mining in a key region in northern Ontario, known as the Ring of Fire, which contains deposits of minerals needed to build electric vehicle batteries.
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