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Province to launch 'Job Site Challenge' to foster auto plant development

Posted June 12, 2019

The provincial government announced this morning regulatory changes that will exempt Ontario's automakers who put a few litres of fuel into a vehicle coming off the assembly line to drive it to a distribution centre from requiring them to apply for an exemption from having their plant regulated as if it were a gas station.

Additionally, Todd Smith, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade said this morningin Windsor the government was launching a "Job Site Challenge ... to identify job sites ready for the next auto assembler."

"We're making it faster, easier and cheaper for companies to comply with the regulations that we do need, while at the same time removing regulations that do nothing to protect workers' health and safety," said Mr. Smith. "With less red tape, Ontario will see more investment. That means we need shovel-ready land to help attract the next Honda, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, GM or Ford."

The Minister said details of the program will be released later this summer "outlining site criteria and inviting municipalities and private land developers to bring forward site proposals. These sites will be evaluated, and those that are deemed workable will be internationally certified by site-selection professionals. The first certified sites should be available to investors in Fall 2020. They will then go through a rapid approvals process for the licences, permits and environmental approvals required to build or expand a plant."

Honda of Canada Mfg operates two assembly plants in New Tecumseth and is supported locally by several parts suppliers in Alliston and Tottenham. In 2017, Honda announced over $400 million to upgrade its Alliston operations to build its next generation Civic and CR-V.

In terms of "shovel-ready" properties, in 2015, 6857 and 7005 Industrial Parkway in Alliston was one of the first "Investment Ready Sites" in Ontario as part of the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure's then new Certified Site Program.

The other vacant industrial site within ear shot of Honda is a 99 acre at 6485 14th Line.

All stories, unless otherwise noted,
by Tony Veltri