Few foreign workers to be hired for Windsor plant: minister

Federal Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says he expects NextStar Energy Inc. to bring in “very few” foreign workers to help transfer battery manufacturing technology as Canada establishes a new industry.

Speaking in Ottawa, Champagne says the transfer of technology and knowledge will help set up the electric vehicle battery industry for decades of success.

He says he spoke with the CEO of NextStar on Monday, along with the head of Stellantis that co-owns NextStar with LG Corp., and was reassured by their commitments to hire Canadians.

Labour groups and politicians raised concerns in recent days after a report from Windsor police that they were helping prepare for a potential 1,600 workers from South Korea to come and help build the plant.

NextStar chief executive Danies Lee confirmed Monday that the company still plans to hire about 2,500 Canadians to run the plant, and is also “engaging” up to 2,300 local and regional tradespeople to help build it.

The company said it needs to bring in temporary specialized staff to help install the advanced equipment, but didn’t say how many such workers it expects.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 21, 2023.


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