Local labour leaders slam federal electric vehicle incentive as 'ludicrous'

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Published March 22, 2019 5:56 p.m. ET
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As a rally outside Windsor Assembly called for change, FCA is working with the federal government to understand how its hybrid Chrysler Pacifica missed out on a new federal incentive program.

The gathering of labour leaders, local politicians and other supporters outside the Windsor plant rallied to back FCA following the announcement of the federal government’s program to encourage Canadians to buy electric vehicles.

Local politicians call the $5,000 incentive “ludicrous” after the upper benchmark for qualifying vehicles was set at $45,000 – excluding the Windsor-made Chrysler Pacifica with a starting price of $54,000.

The rally was meant to drive the point home – the program, as it’s set up, favours foreign vehicles over domestically-made products.

“This is Canada’s clean car!”

In a written statement to CTV Windsor, FCA officials say they are working with the federal government to understand the details and criteria associated with the hybrid-electric and electric vehicle initiatives announced in the budget this week.

“It’s extremely important that the federal government recognize this and they recognize not only the quality of this vehicle but the versatility of this vehicle,” says Mark Bartlet of Unifor’s environmental committee.

Unifor Local 444 president Dave Cassidy says the Trudeau government needs to respond.

“We would like to see if the verbiage change in the budget so that any Canadian-made electic vehicle fall under this incentive program,” says Cassidy.

Without a change, Unifor and local NDP MP’s say consumers will turn to FCA competitors, hurting sales of the Windsor-made minivan.

Brian Masse, MP for Windsor West, feels the Liberal government is missing a golden opportunity to boost the Canadian supply chain through the incentive program.

Masse points to U.S. automakers investing $10 billion in new assembly operations which he argues Canada stands to benefit by providing needed parts.


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