Ontario’s Climate of Innovation Attracts Investment from GM
Premier Kathleen Wynne was in Oshawa recently to welcome a major investment by General Motors of Canada that will expand the automaker’s engineering and software development work in Ontario, create jobs and grow the economy.
Ontario attracted this investment by being a leader in innovation and investing in people’s talent and skills. For this expansion, GM will draw upon the province’s wealth of talent in engineering and research, and its expertise in automotive, cleantech, and information and communications technologies. Through this investment, GM will expand its engineering team in Ontario to create more than 700 new positions over the next few years.
GM announced that it will:
Enhance the capabilities of its renamed Canadian Technical Centre in Oshawa to play a leading role in developing the next generation of connected, autonomous and alternative-fuel vehicles
Create a major software development centre in Markham
Upgrade its cold-weather testing facility in Kapuskasing.
The government is working to build Ontario up as a hub of the knowledge economy. As part of this, Ontario has become the first province to allow on-road testing of automated vehicles, which will help foster the development and commercialization of new technologies that have the potential to help improve fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Attracting investments that drive innovation is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
Since 2004, Ontario has invested more than $1.1 billion to leverage more than $12 billion in total investments in the province’s auto industry.
Strengthening the auto sector is part of Ontario’s five-year, $400-million Business Growth Initiative, which is helping to grow the economy and create jobs by promoting an innovation-based economy, helping small companies scale up and modernizing business regulations.
Ontario is the only subnational jurisdiction in the world with five global automotive assemblers — Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda and Toyota — as well as truck manufacturer Hino.
Vehicle assembly and auto parts production directly support more than 100,000 jobs in Ontario, with hundreds of thousands more spin-off jobs across the province.
Ontario assembly plants built nearly 15 per cent of North American-made vehicles over the past five years, and the auto industry contributes more than $15 billion annually to the province’s GDP.
Ontario’s Competitive Advantages in Automaking
“GM’s decision to develop next-generation vehicle technologies in Ontario is a vote of confidence in our province’s highly skilled workers and strength as an innovation hub. Our government welcomes this investment, which will help Ontario play a leading role in building the auto industry of the future.”
— Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario
“Today’s announcement sends a positive signal to the global auto industry that Ontario is the ideal location for developing and commercializing disruptive technologies. Our government will continue its close partnerships with industry, labour, and the innovation sector to secure the province’s long-term future as a leader for auto innovation and advanced manufacturing. Congratulations to GM Canada on this significant achievement, and we look forward to our continued partnership.”
— Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure
“GM selected Ontario to be a key software engineering hub for the future because of its wealth of talent and focus on innovation. Ontario is a leader in STEM graduates, artificial intelligence and mobile security and has shown its commitment to taking a regulatory approach that enables innovation.”
— Stephen Carlisle, President and Managing Director, General Motors of Canada Company