Ontario has committed to paying a third of the cost to save a $5-billion electric vehicle battery plant in Windsor, Ont., premier Doug Ford said Thursday.
The province and the federal government are “inches” away from a deal with automaker Stellantis, he said, but did not provide financial details.
Ford said he has been on the phone with the federal government and Stellantis over the last several days in an effort to finish the deal.
He said the province has stepped up in a “huge, huge way” and wants the federal government to do the same for a deal with Stellantis.
“I’m urging them to do what’s necessary to secure this,” Ford said Thursday.
Negotiations have been underway between the federal government, Ontario, Stellantis and LG Energy Solution after the companies paused construction on their planned factory in a dispute over federal subsidies.
Earlier in the day, Stellantis spokeswoman LouAnn Gosselin said the company “to date has not received an official response from its previously sent letters” about a potential deal.
She did not provide further details.
Ford said details of what the governments are giving Stellantis will become public after a deal is completed.
The negotiations have been stuck between what Canada thinks is fair and affordable and what the company believes it is due.
Stellantis has threatened to move the plant out of Windsor if it doesn’t get what it says it was promised by the federal government in an agreement reached in February.
Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said Wednesday they were getting close to a deal.
Champagne said he made an offer similar to what the federal government and Ontario gave Volkswagen for an electric vehicle battery plant in St. Thomas, Ont.
That deal could be worth up to $13 billion over 10 years.
Stellantis and LG Energy Solution announced their plans to build the facility in March 2022. The federal and provincial governments pledged $1 billion as capital for the project.
But the United States changed the landscape last summer when it announced new production tax credits for EV battery makers as part of the Inflation Reduction Agreement.
That prompted the companies to ask for more government support.
Ford spent some time Thursday trying to quell fears the deal could collapse.
“I know everyone’s anxious for the deal and I am as well,” Ford said.
He said he’s been in constant contact of late with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and Champagne.
“We’re going to get this deal done,” Ford said.