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Trudeau, Ford expected in St. Thomas for major Volkswagen announcement


A major announcement is set for Friday morning in St. Thomas, Ont., detailing plans for the future Volkswagen battery plant.

Both Premier Doug Ford and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are expected to be among the speakers, along with a number of cabinet ministers from both levels of government.

Volkswagen announced last month that it had chosen St. Thomas to build its first overseas gigafactory.

The German automaker has secured an exclusive contract worth more than $13 billion over the next ten years to build an electric vehicle battery plant in the Railway City.

Brendan Sweeney, of the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing, said governments of Ontario and Canada are being similarly aggressive in attracting “generational” investments.

“Some of the up-front commitments are quite significant,” said Sweeney. “The jobs, how these kinds of investments will anchor an entire supply chain- mining, materials, parts and components, and potentially really sending a good signal to other companies, whether they’re American, European, Japanese, Korean- Ontario and Canada is serious about this EV thing.”

Brendan Sweeney, Managing Director, Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing. (Source:

The contract will include an up-front capital investment of $700 million, and up to $13 billion in subsidies.

The subsidies are designed to match what Volkswagen could have received had it chosen a site in the United States to build the new plant.

The plant will cost about $7 billion to build, will have a footprint equal to 350 football fields, and will create thousands of jobs in the region.

No details have been released at this time on how much the provincial government is contributing to the Volkswagen deal.

CTV News has also learned that a number of local representatives are expected to be at the Friday announcement, including St. Thomas Mayor Joe Preston, Elgin County Warden Ed Ketchabaw, and representatives from the Elgin Economic Development Corporation. Top Stories

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