Ontario to improve business “climate” for automotive industry; special focus on autonomous vehicle development

The Ontario Government’s phased in automotive sector plan — titled Driving Prosperity: the Future of Ontario’s Automotive Sector — will begin to implement a “streamlined approval and compliance” approach for all manufacturing. An essential plank fo the new plan is to review industrial electricity pricing for competitiveness — although no actual rates were proposed.

The key to the plan, according to the government includes, “significant action taken to cut red tape and reduce barriers to business growth.” The government plan also places a particular focus on automated vehicle pilot programs and emerging technologies.

Premier Doug Ford announced, “Our government is committed to helping our partners in the auto industry grow and create good jobs. Our Driving Prosperity plan will make sure Ontario’s auto sector is the best in the world — and stays that way for years to come.”

Currently, Ontario’s auto Industry is North America’s top “auto-producing” regions, according to the Ministry of Economic Development, producing 2.2 million vehicles in 2017. However, new tariffs and possible future tariffs, together with the increased competition with Mexico make these types of programs necessary.


Autonomous vehicle development is a special focus of a new Ontario government plan.


“We listened carefully to what Ontario’s auto industry needs to safeguard good jobs while investing in the skills and technology essential to remain competitive,” said Smith. “This plan builds on our work to cut red tape, lower business costs, and make Ontario open for business and open for jobs.”

According to the Ontario Government:

Phase one of Driving Prosperity has three pillars that each have immediate action items:

  • Competitive business climate — comprehensive, streamlined approval and compliance approach for all manufacturing on designated job sites, international promotion of Ontario’s auto strengths, and the review of industrial electricity pricing.
    Innovation — new supports for supply chain modernization and competitiveness, and for connected and autonomous vehicle technologies.
  • Talent — new internship and training opportunities, and development of a talent roadmap and skills inventory.
  • Phase two, which will be released later this year, will build on this work and address longer-term challenges and opportunities facing the sector.

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