Hundreds, if not more than a thousand, South Korean workers are expected to come and work at a future battery factory in Ontario that will receive $15 billion in public money.
• Also read: Ottawa and Stellantis agree to restart construction of battery factory
• Also read: Batteries: Stellantis stops work and demands more funding for its factory
It was Windsor police who revealed the information last week, more or less against their will, before Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre made the move on Monday.
According to a police statement published on in collaboration with LG Energy Solutions.
Yesterday, Chief Bellaire and members of the Windsor Police Service were honored to be visited by His Excellency, Ambassador Woongsoon Lim and his colleagues from the Republic of Korea. pic.twitter.com/Z6WXaINQkU
— Windsor Police (@WindsorPolice) November 16, 2023
The Labor Minister’s parliamentary secretary, Irek Kusmierczyk, was pressed with questions from the NDP and Conservatives during question period in the House of Commons and did not comment directly on the information provided by Windsor police.
“Mr. President, it should be noted that only one application for a temporary foreign worker was approved for this project,” suggested the MP, who also represents Windsor-Tecumseh. Mr. Kusmierczyk also recalled that temporary foreign workers only can come to Canada to work if local labor needs cannot be met.
This reaction was not enough for Pierre Poilievre, who called for an investigation before the media and also called for the publication of the contract between the governments and Stellantis.
“If Justin Trudeau has nothing to hide, he will make the agreement public,” announced the Conservative Party leader, who believes Canadians “have the right to know why they are paying.”
Announced by Stellantis in March 2022, the mega-factory project was put on hold last May when the company demanded more generous subsidies. Work finally resumed in July after the signing of a new agreement that increased the subsidies provided to about $15 billion. A third of the amount will be covered by Ontario and the federal government will cover the rest.
However, the exact funding depends on the production of the battery factory, which, according to government announcements, will provide work for around 2,500 people and will go into operation in 2024.