Source: Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company says it’s delaying the beginning of electric vehicle production at its new plant in Oakville, Ont. by two years.

Taxpayers have committed $590 million to Ford in the form of a subsidy partnership between the federal and provincial governments. 

Now, Ford has said the plan will go into operation in 2027, not next year as originally proposed. 

The company says it will take longer than expected to overhaul the Oakville assembly plant into an electric vehicle and battery assembly operation. 

Work will start this year but the equipment required to assemble the EVs won’t be completed for another three years. 

According to Ford spokesperson Said Deep, that means some workers will get laid off. 

“We are committed to taking care of our valued Oakville employees through this transition,” said Ford Canada CEO Bev Goodman. 

“While this change requires a revision to the timeline, it will support a viable and growing future for our company, employees and dealers.”

When the corporate bailout scheme was first proposed, the hefty pricetag of the subsidies received heavy criticism. 

Groups like the Canadian Taxpayers Federation slammed the company, saying that Ford has enough money to cover the cost of the plant itself. 

When announcing the funding in 2020, Trudeau claimed that the subsidies would “create many good middle-class jobs.” 

The Canadian government has another deal with Volkswagen which involves up to $13 billion in grants and subsidies for a new factory in St. Thomas, Ont., sparking further controversy over corporate handouts. 

This investment aims to establish the largest plant in the country, promising 3,000 direct and 30,000 indirect jobs. 

Costing $7 billion, the subsidies will apply post-completion, with the factory’s opening slated for 2027, covering an area equivalent to 378 football fields.