Invest WindsorEssex close to another $1-billion in investments for the region

Rusty Thomson/CKLW AM800 News

The chief executive officer of Invest WindsorEssex says they’re very close to another $1-billion worth of investments in the region.

Stephen MacKenzie made the comment at the Invest WindsorEssex annual general meeting Thursday in Kingsville.

He says the number of jobs with that would be another 1,000, mostly in manufacturing and connected to the supply chain for the NextStar Energy electric vehicle battery plant.

The future of the battery plant and expanded incentives remains the focus of negotiations between the federal government, Stellantis and LG Energy Solution.

Premier Doug Ford announced Thursday during a news conference in Kingsville that the province had committed to paying a third of the cost to save the $5-billion plant.

The province and the federal government are “inches” away from a deal with the automaker, according to Ford, as he urged the federal government to do the same for a deal with Stellantis.

MacKenzie believes this year is going to be extraordinary.

“If things continue on this current track, we get some certainty on the current events mentioned, I’m quite confident we’re going to sign at least another $1-billion worth of deals between now and the end of the year, and some of it maybe even in the next quarter,” he says.

MacKenzie also says the companies they’re talking to understand the current situation but they are keeping an eye on it.

“They understand that these things are negotiations and I’m happy to say we have not had any company say ‘well you’ve created uncertainty, too much for me, we’re going to look elsewhere,’ we’ve not had any of that. This week, as we speak, we have international companies in,” he says.

Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said Wednesday they were getting close to a deal and that he made an offer similar to what the federal
government and Ontario gave Volkswagen for an electric vehicle battery plant in St. Thomas, a deal could be worth up to $13 billion over 10 years.

According to its 2022 annual report, Invest WindsorEssex supported over $8 billion in combined investment from local start-ups, expansions and Foreign Direct Investment in Windsor-Essex.

The report says the combined investment will lead to the creation of 4,959 new, direct jobs as reported by the entrepreneurs and companies involved.

MacKenzie notes if they are able to secure another $1-billion in investments in 2023, it would be their second biggest year behind 2022.

Invest WindsorEssex is a not-for-profit organization supported by the City of Windsor and County of Essex and is responsible for advancing economic development in the region.