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Canada move forward with electric car investment in Oakville with Ford

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The federal minister for innovation and his staff had embarked on a letter-writing campaign, contacting every single EV manufacturer in the world with a personalized message, asking them to come to Canada and build their cars here.

No luck.

He rubbed elbows with them every chance he got, but executive after executive told him they weren’t ready for that kind of market, or else he had already missed his chance. All those production mandates had already been spoken for.

That was until Bains ran into Ford Canada’s president Dean Stoneley at the auto show in Toronto last winter and sensed an opening.

Canada rushed in, with months of lobbying, union support, tales of fabulous workforces, plenty of cash and a splash of luck. And despite the pandemic and the sudden re-orientation of the auto sector towards manufacturing ventilators, it worked.

“I had a really good conversation with Dean and we really opened the door,” Bains recalled in an interview Friday.

The result is a high-risk foray into a market that Canada hopes to catch up to, reviving the auto manufacturing sector in southern Ontario and proving to skeptics that it is possible to cut emissions and make money at the same time.

 

It’s risky because the federal and provincial governments have now put $600 million on the table to persuade Ford to rejuvenate its Oakville plant with a $2 billion pledge to build batteries and electric vehicles there for more than a decade, entrenching government involvement in the troubled auto sector for the foreseeable future.

It’s risky because $600 million is 30 per cent of the total investment. That’s a lot higher than the traditional 20 per cent — and it could well be an invitation to the rest of the world’s global manufacturers to expect much higher subsidies than in Canada’s past.

And it’s risky because, in the process of luring Ford to build EVs in Canada, Ford had to nix an undertaking somewhere else in the world (Mexico) — something other countries don’t usually take kindly to. The federal government has signalled that it’s willing to engage in the ugly combat to win production mandates, even when it’s not necessarily a neighbourly thing to do.

“This project was heading for Mexico and we were able to turn it all around,” says Jerry Dias, national president of Unifor, the union representing the majority of Ford workers.

“All kinds of little things have gone our way.”

A turning point for both Dias and Bains came in June when they heard rumours that the Ford was going to wind down production of the Edge in Oakville. Such a move would spell the end of a significant Ford presence in Canada, a disaster for the industry that is a mainstay for Ontario’s economy.

Dias got to work on the phones and let it be known that if Ford moved to shut down Oakville, he would not hesitate to have his union strike the engine plant in Windsor, Ont., which supplies the F150 and the Mustang, among Ford’s top sellers.

Bains, who has a deep understanding of the company because he worked in finance there for three years before getting into politics, got on the phone with Jim Farley. At the time, Farley was chief operating officer and a key decision-maker in where the company would expand or shrink.

“I made the whole pitch to him. And I think it resonated,” Bains said.

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A few days later, as luck would have it, Farley was named chief executive officer.

Bains had to convince the rest of his cabinet colleagues that putting up a huge chunk of money for a non-pandemic industrial adventure would be well worth it.

He brought Stoneley and Dias together to make the pitch to his industrial strategy council. Bains turned to the Strategic Innovation Fund for funding. They all talked incessantly to Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s staff and cabinet. And the case was made.

 

By the time Unifor sat down with Stoneley to renegotiate the union contract and set the tone for a larger round of negotiations with other auto manufacturers in Ontario, almost all the pieces were in place.

The company and the union reached a deal to maintain employment, mass produce electric passenger vehicles in Canada for the first time, and make their batteries too.

It’s definitely a victory for Ford and more than 4,500 of its workers.

But before the federal and provincial governments can call it a success, they need to show that the huge investment in Oakville is just a starting point for setting up Canada as a competitive hub for burgeoning electric vehicle market.

That’s something Bains knows all too well.

“It’s one story in a chapter in a book called the new, smart industrial policy,” he says.

 

Source: – Toronto Star

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$7.3M investment signals long future for Wallaceburg hospital – Chatham Daily News

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WALLACEBURG – A $7.3 million Ontario government grant to construct a new power plant for the hospital here sends a strong signal the healthcare facility will remain open for many years to come.

The Ontario government is providing $7.3 million to pay for the construction of a new power plant at the Wallaceburg campus of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, which paves the way for future upgrades to the emergency department and diagnostic imaging. Taking part in the ceremonial ground breaking at the Wallaceburg hospital on Friday are, from left: Lori Marshall, CKHA present and CEO, Charles Sampson, chief of Walpole Island First Nation, Greg Aartsen, CKHA board chair, and Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development and MPP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex. (Ellwood Shreve/Chatham Daily News)

WALLACEBURG – A $7.3-million Ontario government grant to build a new power plant for the hospital here sends a strong signal the health-care facility will remain open for many years to come.

“This is an investment in not only the care and delivery and services here today, it’s an investment in the future, because this does provide a substantial backbone for a further redevelopment of this site in the future,” said Lori Marshall, president and CEO of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance following the funding announcement Friday.

Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and skills development, who made the funding announcement on behalf of Health Minister Christine Elliott, also indicated more money is coming.

“This will be the first stage of a redevelopment plan,” he said, adding there are plans to move the emergency room and diagnostic imaging to a new location on the north side of the hospital.

Marshall said building a new power plant, estimated to take a year to complete, is a commitment to future expansion.

“If we were just looking at sustaining the current building, we would not have needed the level of infrastructure that is going into this power plant,” she said.

“What the power plant actually does is gives us the level of infrastructure to truly support a new build, new code requirements all those kinds of things.”

Marshall said $7.3 million covers the cost of building the new power plant, along with the 10 per cent local requirement the hospital group had in reserve, so no fundraising will be needed.

She said plans have already been submitted for consideration to the Health Ministry for redeveloping the emergency room, diagnostic imaging and laboratory areas.

However, Marshall noted there is no firm timeline for when this expansion could happen.

Other future plans for upgrading the hospital include expanding ambulatory care, including specialty clinics, along with respiratory therapy, physiotherapy and laboratory services.

Walpole Island Chief Charles Sampson said the First Nations community has a long history with the hospital, noting many people from Walpole Island have worked there.

“The people of Walpole Island are very thankful of the tireless efforts from all the front-line, essential health-care workers in Chatham-Kent,” he added.

McNaughton noted the importance of local health care has only been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic.

While fighting COVID-19 remains a priority, the MPP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex said the provincial government intends “to invest in things that matter to people in Southwestern Ontario and beyond.”

When built in the 1950s at a cost of approximately $900,000, the Wallaceburg hospital “became a jewel of the community,” Greg Aarssen, the hospital board’s chair, said.

He added renewed focus on the site has seen reinvestment in the emergency department, additional respiratory therapy coverage, capital equipment upgrades and the addition of specialty clinics, as well as a partnership to provide community care nursing clinics.

“All of these set the stage for the reinvestment we are seeing from the Ontario government to ensure that hospital services remain an important part of this community,” Aarssen said.

However, it wasn’t that many years ago the community was fighting to keep the emergency department open and halt plans to have the site become an urgent care centre.

Wallaceburg Coun. Carmen McGregor said her first term on council included walking into a community effort by the citizen group, Save Our Sydenham, to fight to keep the hospital open.

“It was quite an initiation as a councillor to come into,” she said.

McGregor credited being able to work with former Wallaceburg councillor Jeff Wesley and the determination of the community to now see this “great news” for the future.

Noting she and fellow Wallaceburg Coun. Aaron Hall are working on initiatives to revitalize the downtown core, McGregor said, the hospital announcement “solidifies the direction we want to move in and will now encourage people to relocate to our community.”

Hall said Wallaceburg residents not only donated to build the hospital, but the whole community rallied for years to ensure it stayed open and viable.

He said the province isn’t going to invest more than $7 million if the hospital isn’t here to stay.

“It’s great news for Wallaceburg, great news for the future of the hospital,” Hall said.

eshreve@postmedia.com

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Lone Wolf announces strategic investment from Stone Point Capital to accelerate growth – Canada NewsWire

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The real estate industry is undergoing digital transformation as legacy manual processes and disparate systems transition to fully connected digital experiences. These trends are further spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, with real estate professionals requiring digital tools to provide first–class experiences for buyers and sellers. Lone Wolf leads the way, offering the industry’s only end-to-end digital experience through transaction management tools, Marketplace partnerships, and back office products.

This investment by Stone Point empowers Lone Wolf to continue transforming real estate technology by enabling the acceleration of innovation with a mission to simplify the real estate experience for all. Stone Point’s expertise in real estate services and technology will help Lone Wolf streamline the end-to-end experience for agents and brokers, enabling them to deliver unparalleled experiences to their clients and members. Stone Point will provide Lone Wolf with additional growth capital to accelerate organic and inorganic product development. 

Over the past five years, Lone Wolf has significantly expanded its product portfolio beyond its flagship back office solution to encompass forms and transaction management through the national member benefits in the U.S. and Canada, Transactions (zipForm Edition) and CREA WEBForms®, respectively. The company has also incorporated new and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning with the launch of Lone Wolf Insights, while its most recent offering, Lone Wolf Marketplace, brings together over 30 partners to provide an all-in-one platform for agents and brokers. Collectively, these solutions now serve more than 1.4 million agents, 8,000 brokerages, and hundreds of MLSs and associations across North America.

“We’re excited to work with the team at Stone Point to continue our strategic growth,” said Jimmy Kelly, CEO of Lone Wolf. “Stone Point’s investment aligns with our vision to create a truly connected, fully digital real estate experience. We are thankful for the partnership and leadership of Vista Equity Partners over the last five years, and we remain committed to serving the real estate industry going forward.”

“We are enthusiastic about the long-term opportunities within the real estate services and technology industry,” added Chuck Davis, Stone Point’s CEO. “This industry is undergoing rapid digital transformation, and we are pleased to partner with Jimmy and his colleagues, who together have built a remarkable company and have demonstrated the vision to continue to grow and better serve their clients.”

Terms of the transaction will not be disclosed. Jefferies LLC and GCA Advisors, LLC served as financial advisors to Lone Wolf and Vista, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as their legal counsel. For Stone Point, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP served as legal counsel.

About Lone Wolf Technologies

Lone Wolf Technologies is the North American leader in residential real estate software, serving over 1.4 million real estate professionals across Canada and the U.S. With cloud solutions for agents, brokers, franchises, MLSs and associations alike, the company provides the entire real estate industry with the tools they need to amaze clients, build their business, and improve profits—from transactions to back office, insights, and more, all in one place. Lone Wolf’s head offices are in Cambridge, ON and Dallas, TX. For more information, please visit www.lwolf.com.

About Stone Point Capital LLC

Stone Point Capital is a financial services-focused private equity firm based in Greenwich, CT. The firm has raised and managed eight private equity funds – the Trident Funds – with aggregate committed capital of more than $26 billion. Stone Point targets investments in companies in the global financial services industry and related sectors. For more information, please visit www.stonepoint.com.

About Vista Equity Partners

Vista is a leading global investment firm with more than $58 billion in cumulative capital commitments. The firm exclusively invests in enterprise software, data and technology-enabled organizations across private equity, credit, public equity and permanent capital strategies, bringing an approach that prioritizes creating enduring market value for the benefit of its global ecosystem of investors, companies, customers and employees. Vista’s investments are anchored by a sizable long-term capital base, experience in structuring technology-oriented transactions and proven, flexible management techniques that drive sustainable growth. Vista believes the transformative power of technology is the key to an even better future – a healthier planet, a smarter economy, a diverse and inclusive community and a broader path to prosperity. Further information is available at vistaequitypartners.com. Follow Vista on LinkedIn @Vista Equity Partners.

For further information, please contact:

Kate Annis
VP, Marketing
Lone Wolf Technologies
Tel. 866.279.9653
Email. [email protected]

SOURCE Lone Wolf Technologies

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Taliban vows to pave way for investment in Afghanistan – Anadolu Agency

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KABUL, Afghanistan

The Taliban has expressed assurance that it would pave the way for global investment in the “future of Afghanistan”.

Mohammad Naeem, the spokesman for the Taliban’s Qatar office, said on Thursday in a series of tweets following a meeting between Adam Boehler, CEO of the US International Development Finance Corporation, and Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, the political deputy of the Taliban.

“The opportunities for financial investment in Afghanistan were discussed during the meeting. American delegation said that Afghanistan was a promising country for global investment. So peace and stability should be brought for the attraction of global investment,” Naeem tweeted.

Boehler on Twitter had said his visit to Qatar was aimed at peace and stability in the region.

There was no immediate reaction to this meeting from the Afghan government officials in Kabul.

However, Sediq Sediqqi, the Afghan presidential spokesman, said on Thursday the Taliban has no legal or religious justifications left to continue the war against people and the state of Afghanistan.

“Scholars in the Islamic world and in Afghanistan, for years, have considered the ongoing war by the Taliban against the people and the state of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, forbidden and without legal justification,” he said while hailing similar comments made by Sheikh Ahmed Al-Raissouni, the president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars in a recent interview with the Afghan broadcaster Tolo News.

This comes as the Taliban is engaged in US-brokered intra-Afghan peace talks with the officials from the Kabul government in the Qatari capital Doha since Sep. 12.



Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.

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