Now is a good time to plan for the future

This huge news for the Ford Assembly plant in Oakville. If this deal goes through it would mean a lot for the auto industry here in Canada. The trend over the last five years or so, has been for the major automakers to dive into the electric vehicle market. Currently, every major vehicle manufacturer has an electric vehicle planned for the market in the next few years. Car company Tesla has taken the market by storm. Sparking would be competitors such as Rivian or Bollinger Motors. It’s becoming clear that electric vehicles is not a fad or trend, but the future of the auto industry.

Which is one of the reasons why the Ford announcement is so curious. Any casual observer of the industry can see the future is electric. Yet the provincial government has been reluctant to encourage the development of the market in Ontario. The belief that green initiatives are not worth the energy so to speak is prevalent in the current government.

The Ford government cancelled the Green Energy Act, introduced by the McGuinty government. Under the guise that it was costing the taxpayer too much money. That decision lead to the cancelling of the EV car tax rebate. The result was the decimation of the EV market here in Ontario. For many observers, this decision lead to the eventual decision by General Motors to close the Oshawa plant. As it was too costly to refurbish into an EV car line, if they weren’t going to be able to sell those vehicles in Ontario.

The Ford government has seemingly, retreated on encouraging innovation in the province. Instead leaving it to the federal government to make the major investment to encourage industry to remain in the country. As the pandemic continues with no end in sight, innovation will be the key to ensuring prosperity down the road. Trends are now turning into long term future markets. Green energy technology is the future. It is inevitable at this point. The pandemic has accelerated transitions in the economy in all aspects.

Vehicles which do not require the need to enter into storefronts, or to touch gas pump handles in the age of COVID-19 are very appealing. As well, as they become more cost effective than needing to maintain and fuel traditional cars, their prevalence will only grow. Financially they’ll become more viable than traditional internal combustion engine cars. A factor which will become more and more important as people’s employment may become more precarious as the pandemic continues.

It’s important for governments to keep an eye on these transformations. Change is inevitable. This pandemic has exacerbated that change. If Canada is going to emerge from this crisis in a position of strength economically, it’s going to have to act proactively.

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