If you live in Ontario you know that General Motors is going to close its Oshawa facilities at the end of 2019. This will affect about 2500 employees directly, and several times more employees indirectly. Around Oshawa are all the parts suppliers, who will not have anyone to supply parts to, or will have to ship parts to Mexico. Agreed, some suppliers are doing so already. It has been forecasted that this closure will cost the provincial and federal governments several billions of dollars in lost taxes, re-training costs, Employment Insurance payouts, etc. The Union is protesting and whining but really not doing anything constructive.
I have a radical idea. What if the provincial government expropriated the land, and the provincial and federal governments chipped in some of that money they are going to loose, and Ontario Manufactures its own Electric car. We have the facilities (Oshawa), the trained skilled workforce, all the suppliers close by, and something the rest of the world knows, but Canadians don’t, that Canadians are damn smart, hardworking, and innovative entrepreneurs. Not only that, but Canada has hundreds of small companies that are on the forefront of new technologies for this kind of industry. Every one of them could use a boost by having a Canadian customer. Why don’t we build an Ontario Economical Electric Car.
Just so that you know, the car pictured on this front of this article is the ZENN (Zero Emission No Noise) Electric Car. This car was built in Quebec before 2010. So building Electric Cars is nothing new in Canada. Supporting Canadian companies might be new for Canadians, especially Canadian Politicians. They stopped making it because they had a hard time selling them. Many provinces had rules against driving Electric cars on provincial highways, and they may have been a little ahead of their time. I’m sure that we could resurrect that car and make any small improvements required to make it a winning Automobile. With all the things that electric cars DON’T have, that regular cars do: Engines, Transmissions, Fuel systems, Exhaust Systems, etc we should be able to put a car on the lot that sells for $20,000.00. WE COULD EVEN EXPORT IT!
We could open a public company with the Federal and Provincial governments in at 15% of the shares each, the Canadian Banks could invest some of their Mutual Fund money into another 20% and the Union could invest for say 10% of the shares. The rest of the shares would be bought by the general public. We hire some talented manages, NOT Bureaucrats, pay them livable salaries with bonuses based on profitability and production. The production equipment could be designed and built by Ontario Automation companies (There are 153 by the way**). This could keep thousands of people employed, give Ontario some control over the automotive industry (There are no Canadian Auto companies) and offer a way for everyone to benefit.
I would like to share with you a comment from Huffpost November 27 2018. The comment is made by the Bank Of Montreal: In all, Oshawa and surrounding areas will see incomes shrink by $300 million once the plant is shut, the BMO report estimated. A loss of income that large will likely hit the region’s broader economy, potentially slowing retail sales and softening the housing market. In terms of the whole auto industry, the job losses in Oshawa are notable but not catastrophic. Typical Canadian bank. It is not catastrophic. I wonder what the authors feelings would be if it was his job that was being eliminated?
This is a picture of the Chinese Electric Taxi cars coming to Montreal this year. Does it look much different than the ZENN car from 10 years ago?? Why is Canada importing what we could build ourselves??
It was Einstein who said that you can not solve a problem with same level of thinking that caused it. The BMO comment is the same level of thinking. Turning this bad news into good news, by using all the advantages offered, to start a new enterprise with a future, is thinking at a different level. Do I think this is a good idea that could work? Darn right. I will even put $10,000.00 into the shares to start it off. Money is important, but people are more important. So why not save money and setup a money making future at the same time.
**From the listings of ThomasNet.com