By Hazel Corcoran
CWCF and Green Jobs Oshawa funded a preliminary feasibility study on transitioning to electric vehicle (EV) production under democratic ownership at the GM plant in Oshawa. After having received over $10.8 billion in federal and Ontario government bail-outs in 2009, some of which was never repaid, GM Canada announced last year that it would close the plant in Oshawa in December 2019 terminating 2,500 jobs in the plant, with estimates as high as 20,000 total jobs lost including multiplier jobs. The feasibility study, written by Russ Christianson and released at a public forum in Oshawa on September 19th concludes that converting the plant to EV production is possible. Significant government investment and procurement including for Canada Post vehicles would be required. Green Jobs Oshawa is in favour of democratic public ownership, which CWCF has advocated should include a meaningful element of worker and community control. Converting this plant to EV production would not only save or create about 15,000 direct and indirect jobs, but it would also maintain manufacturing capacity and demonstrate leadership in the transition to a sustainable economy, critical in the face of the current climate crisis. There has been excellent media coverage of this possibility, including by Jennifer Wells (here and here) and Linda McQuaig in the Toronto Star. The full study as well as two summary versions are available on the CWCF website, below. CWCF encourages you to sign the Green Jobs Oshawa petition, to visit and share their web site, and to like their Facebook page.