WINDSOR, Ont. — Concerns are rising over plans by NextStar Energy Inc. to bring in foreign workers to help build a battery plant in Windsor, Ont., that is being supported by an expected $15 billion in public funding.
Federal Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre said Monday that he is pushing for a full inquiry into the issue, and wants a commitment that no public funding will go to foreign workers.
It’s not clear how many workers NextStar Energy, a joint venture between automaker Stellantis and South Korea’s LG, plans to bring from outside Canada.
NextStar Energy chief executive Danies Lee says in a statement that the company is committed to hiring Canadians to fill more than 2,500 full-time jobs at the battery plant, and engage with up to 2,300 more local tradespeople to help with construction and installation.
However, he says the installation phase of the project also requires temporary specialized global supplier staff, who have proprietary knowledge and specialized expertise.
Windsor police said on social media that after meeting with South Korean ambassador Woongsoon Lim last week, it expects about 1,600 workers from South Korea to come to the community next year to help build the plant.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 20, 2023.