Ottawa, ON – Rick Perkins, Conservative Shadow Minister for Innovation, Science and Industry, and Kyle Seeback, Conservative Shadow Minister for International Trade, released the following statement:

“The Canada’s Building Trades Union (CBTU) letter reported on today proves what Conservatives have been saying all along; that heavily subsidized battery plants in southwestern Ontario will rely on foreign replacement workers rather than creating jobs for Canadians. This is more proof of Justin Trudeau’s incompetence.

“Justin Trudeau’s offer of $44 billion in taxpayer money to massively profitable corporations did not even come with a promise that the jobs created would go to Canadian union workers. Instead, he has allowed foreign replacement workers to fill these roles.

“Justin Trudeau and his Ministers also lied and attacked those who raised these concerns months ago. When Conservative Members tried to get access to the contracts, Liberal and NDP Members filibustered to protect the government and prevent workers from hearing the truth.

“Despite Minister Boissonault’s lie that there was only one foreign worker and Minister Champagne’s lie that there would only be “a fairly small number” it is now clear that Stellantis intends to staff their plant with as many foreign replacement workers as possible. This is only possible because of the Trudeau government’s incompetence or unwillingness to ensure taxpayer dollars created jobs for Canadian workers.

“Justin Trudeau’s Ministers also lied when they said this was only a short-term issue required for foreign replacement workers who could contribute “specialized knowledge”.  As the letter from CBTU points out, “this is the brazen displacement of Canadian workers in favour of international workers, by major international corporations thumbing their noses at both the Government of Canada, taxpayers, and our skilled trades workers.” According to CBTU, foreign replacement workers are even being used for jobs like forklift operation, and there are cases of these workers using local tradespeople’s tools. All of this is happening while Windsor continues to have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country at 8.1 percent. This is wrong, and these jobs should be done by workers in Essex and Kent who are currently unemployed.

“Canadians deserve a government that will protect Canadian workers. Common Sense Conservatives will ensure Canadians’ tax dollars are used wisely, and that taxpayer-funded jobs are given to Canadians.”