The Liberal federal government, which has made addressing climate change a priority under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has signaled to automakers that it is willing to offer stronger financial incentives for EV projects. And the Ontario provincial government, led by Conservative Premier Doug Ford, is willing to do the same since it sees an opportunity to build up an EV battery supply chain in Ontario.
That was not lost on GM when the automaker was considering where to build its new electric commercial vans, Unifor President Jerry Dias said. (Government incentives for GM and Stellantis have not yet been announced.)
"GM watched the Ford announcement, and they saw the prime minister and premier come out very quickly in support of it," Dias said. "General Motors saw that the Canadian and provincial governments, really for the first time, were being very active as it relates to electric vehicles."
GM Canada President Scott Bell, speaking on Automotive News Canada's weekly podcast, said the automaker sees itself being "aligned completely" with the Canadian government on climate issues.
In January, GM said it aimed to sell only emission-free vehicles by 2035.
"It's a natural fit when you put it all together," Bell said.