Ontario is inextricably linked to the auto industry but not for long if Kathleen Wynne has her way. She’s about to make a big push to get us all driving electric or hybrid cars, though almost none are made here, and even this pales in comparison to her next plan.
Yesterday, I discussed a Globe & Mail story that Wynne’s Environment Minister Glenn Murray all but confirmed in a speech to the Economic Club - Ontario wants you to get rid of your current car and buy an electric one.
Most of the cars sold in Ontario are not made here but this move signals to any industry that remains, you’re not welcome here.
Not a single electric car is made in Ontario. Toyota makes a Lexus hybrid in Woodstock but Wynne wants 1.7 million electric vehicles sold in the province in the next eight years. Even if they could convince one of the manufacturers to make an electric car here, it would be years before they ever rolled off the line.
Last year 778,000 new vehicles were sold in Ontario, mostly commercial vehicles with 284,000 being passenger vehicles. To reach Wynne’s goal would mean roughly three quarters of all new vehicles sold in Ontario over the next eight years would have to be electric.
If that happened, what would it do to the top selling Honda Civic, Toyota Corrolla or Dodge Grand Caravan, all made here in Ontario? It would seriously harm the future of those assembly line jobs plus other jobs in the parts sector that rely on those jobs.
The auto industry has told the government their plans are unreasonable and Murray’s response was to threaten them and tell them off.
This government will act even if it hurts the people they collect taxes from. Tax money already goes from those that build cars to subsidize the electric car industry even announcing they’ll invest $20 million to build 500 charging stations for those vehicles!
Couple this with existing subsidies of up to $14,000 per car and whatever else is coming in Wynne’s climate change plan and one thing is clear - Kathleen Wynne’s government will forge ahead even if it hurts the most important industry in the province.