Ontario Green Party Calls For Electric Vehicle Strategy

The Leader of Ontario's Green Party is calling on the Ford government to develop an Electric Vehicle strategy.

Mike Schreiner says the auto industry is telegraphing loud and clear that this is the future of the sector.

In November, General Motors announced it will close its production plant in Oshawa, Ont., along with four facilities in the U.S. as part of a global reorganization that will see the company focus on electric and autonomous vehicle programs.

Schreiner says this is about making sure Ontario's auto industry has a future.

"The Premier has a responsibility, the government has a responsibility to bring labour to the table, business to the table, academics and researchers, consumers to the table and say we're going to develop a strategy for Ontario to be the global leader in the electric vehicle revolution that's happening," he said.

Schreiner says the auto industry is not making it a secret where they'll be putting their money.

"Automakers are telling the world that they are moving to electric and autonomous vehicles," he said. "As a matter of fact they're going to be investing $255-billion between now and 2023 on EV research and development alone. That's a wake-up call that we have to be at the forefront of this."

Schreiner says a huge portion of future production will be electric vehicles.

"Automakers are predicting that 54% of all vehicles will be electric by 2040 and that 90% of the vehicles that are driven in the US Canada and Europe are going to be electric by 2040, we have to have a strategy to lead the EV revolution.  We don't want to be losing jobs to it," he added.

Schreiner knows the failure of the Green Energy Act rollout is fresh in people's minds but he says the mistake the Liberals made was doing huge deals with global corporations instead of getting local buy-in for the programs.