October 21st, 2021

Horwath looks to secure auto jobs

Fight to save jobs now, introduce electric auto strategy to secure jobs for generations, says NDP leader

WINDSOR — Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Official Opposition New Democrats, said the provincial government can and must step in to fight for auto jobs in Windsor now, and for generations to come. She’s laying out Ontario’s first zero emissions vehicle strategy to do that.

On Oct. 15, Stellantis said it will cut its Windsor assembly plant’s second shift, costing 1,800 jobs plus feeder and spinoff jobs. In 2020, Stellantis cut what was then its third shift, costing 1,500 jobs while Doug Ford stood by and did nothing. The latest cut comes at least in part due to supply issues with semiconductor computer chips.

“I will never, ever give up on these workers and their families,” said Horwath. “Thousands of people are laying awake at night, worrying about their financial future. They’re worried their kids won’t have the opportunity to stay here in Windsor, raise their families and earn a good pension here. Doug Ford needs to fight for these jobs. Fight for our fair share of the semiconductor chip supply, and fight for assembly contracts to come to Ontario.”

It’s time for a government to finally introduce an auto strategy that will secure the future of Ontario’s auto industry for generations to come, said Horwath.

“We’re going to make Ontario a global leader in electric vehicles. We’re going to fight for every job we have and attract thousands more by making Ontario a big player in the auto industry of the future,” said Horwath. “The Liberals had 15 years to make this kind of shift, and they didn’t,” said Horwath. “And Doug Ford’s war on the environment could destroy our auto industry as the world transitions to electric.”

Under the Liberals, 300,000 manufacturing jobs across multiple sectors were lost. In 2018, Ford cancelled Ontario’s electric car incentive program, causing sales to plummet more than 50 per cent. Then when General Motors cut more than 2,300 Ontario jobs in 2018, Ford immediately took the side of CEOs that wanted to move the jobs to other countries, saying in the legislature: “The Leader of the Opposition [Horwath] is demanding that we spend billions and billions of dollars to a company that doesn’t want it. They’re gone; they’re done.

“People deserve better,” said Horwath. “The climate crisis is the greatest threat our world faces. But with how we respond to that crisis, we can create an incredible jobs boom. We’re going to make it easy for companies to build electric vehicles here and bring jobs here, and we’re going to make it affordable and easy for everyone to buy, charge and ride electric.”

With Ontario’s first Zero-Emissions Vehicles strategy, an NDP government would invest in retooling auto plants in Ontario to design, manufacture and assemble electric vehicles; introduce a suite of incentives to help people switch to electric; and ramp up electric vehicle sales to 100 per cent of all new auto sales in Ontario by 2035.


With the NDP’s Zero Emissions vehicle strategy, all new vehicle sales in Ontario will be zero-emissions vehicles by 2035, and all transit fleets will be electrified by 2040. The plan is part of Climate. Jobs. Justice. A Green New Democratic Deal.

Auto manufacturing, sales and purchases

  • Provide world-leading financial incentives for Ontario auto manufacturing plants to re-tool to produce electric vehicles
  • Set a province-wide electric vehicle sales target of 15 per cent by 2025, 45 per cent by 2030, and 100 per cent by 2035
  • Offer strong incentives to buy an electric vehicle, excluding luxury vehicles but with added incentive to buy manufactured-in-Canada electric vehicles
  • Completely electrify government fleets by 2030


  • Give households $600 to install a charging station at home
  • Require builders to put vehicle charging capacity in new homes
  • Build charging stations on public properties, like GO Train stations and along roadways

Public Transit

  • Work with municipalities to electrify all municipal transit fleets by 2040
  • Take immediate steps to electrify the GO Train network on an accelerated timeline to replace dirty diesel trains along all lines
  • Reverse the provincial funding cuts the former Conservative and Liberal governments made to municipal transit and paratransit services


Allison Kozolanka, Unifor Local 444 Joint Workplace Environment Rep for the Windsor Assembly Plant, is affected by the cut to the second shift at Stellantis

“I have worked here for 24 years and will lose my job due to the fragility of our supply chain. I have 2 sons on the autism spectrum who rely on my paycheque. We need an EV Strategy that would protect our ecosystem and create good-paying green jobs: green infrastructure, battery plants, microchip plants, vehicle disassembly plants. That is positive pivoting, made right, made in Ontario.”

Video: https://www.facebook.com/100044127531830/videos/653219229389406