WOODBRIDGE — The Ontario government is working for the people by taking action to safeguard auto industry jobs and position the sector for future growth.
Today, in the lead up to the Canadian International AutoShow, Premier Doug Ford and Todd Smith, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, launched the Ontario government’s plan for the auto sector — Driving Prosperity: The Future of Ontario’s Automotive Sector. The plan sets out a 10-year vision for how industry, the research and education sector, and all three levels of government, can work together to strengthen the auto sector’s competitiveness.
“Our government is committed to helping our partners in the auto industry grow and create good jobs,” said Ford. “Our Driving Prosperity plan will make sure Ontario’s auto sector is the best in the world — and stays that way for years to come.”
“We listened carefully to what Ontario’s auto industry needs to safeguard good jobs, while investing in the skills and technology essential to remain competitive,” said Smith. “This plan builds on our work to cut red tape, lower business costs, and make Ontario open for business and open for jobs.”
Phase one of Driving Prosperity has three pillars that each have immediate action items:
- Competitive business climate — a comprehensive, streamlined approvals and compliance approach for all manufacturing on designated job sites, international promotion of Ontario’s auto strengths, and the review of industrial electricity pricing.
- Innovation — new supports for supply chain modernization and competitiveness, and for connected and autonomous vehicle technologies.
- Talent — new internship and training opportunities, and development of a talent roadmap and skills inventory.
Phase two, which will be released later this year, will build on this work and address longer-term challenges and opportunities facing the sector.
Ontario’s auto industry remains strong overall, with the province ranking as North America’s top auto-producing region for 2017, building almost 2.2 million vehicles. However, competition from U.S. states and Mexico, combined with technological disruption, are challenging governments and industry to act.
“Ontario is well positioned to build the next generation of vehicles and to train the next generation of innovators,” said Smith. “Our plan for the auto sector charts a clear path for industry, academia and government to work together to harness these inherent strengths.”
- To allow for more testing of emerging technologies and to support future sales of the next generation of vehicles, Ontario has updated its Automated Vehicle Pilot program to allow vehicles equipped with higher levels of automation — Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Level 3 technology — to be driven on Ontario roads once they are eligible for purchase in Canada.
- Premier Doug Ford became Ontario’s first Premier to receive the Golden Scissors Award from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) in recognition of Ontario being awarded an A-, up from C+ last year, as a result of significant action taken to cut red tape and reduce barriers to business growth.
- Vehicle assembly and auto parts production directly supports around 105,800 Ontario jobs, with a further hundred thousand more spin-off jobs in communities across the province.
- Ontario is the only place in North America where five major automakers build vehicles — Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Toyota — as well as truck manufacturer Hino.
- The province’s vehicle assembly facilities are supported by a supply chain comprising over 700 parts firms and over 500 tool, die and mold makers.