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Stellantis stalemate can end if Ontario pays its fair share, Champagne says

Ottawa is “very confident” it can settle a dispute with automaker Stellantis if the Ontario government pays its “fair share,” Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says.

Stellantis, one of the world’s largest automakers that makes vehicles including Chrysler, Ram and Fiat, said Monday it stopped construction on a $5-billion electric vehicle battery plant in Windsor, Ont., claiming the federal government “has not delivered on what was agreed to.”

The automaker and South Korean battery maker LG Energy Solution announced the plant last year. It was expected to create 2,500 jobs in Windsor – a vehicle manufacturing hub in Canada.

All levels of government were to provide financial support but the full amounts have not been disclosed. Stellantis said again on Tuesday that Ottawa has not held up its end of the bargain.

“I’m very confident we can come to a deal with LG and Stellantis,” Champagne told reporters in South Korea Tuesday.

“The message to our colleagues in Ontario is: pay your fair share, and we will bring this stalemate, if you want, to a conclusion.”

The stalemate prompted Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Monday to point the finger at Ottawa, saying the federal government needs to support the automaker in the same way it did Volkswagen.

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