EDITOR’S LETTER: Michelin, Canada investment good news for Nova Scotia and Atlantic region

Michelin’s $140 million upgrade to its Bridgewater plant is good news for N.S.

By Carter Hammett

It was good news day for Nova Scotians March 14 as Michelin announced a multimillion dollar investment in its Canadian operations to help meet the global demand for EV tires. 

Michelin reports that it plans to spend up to $140 million to upgrade and modernize  its plant in Bridgewater N.S. 

In addition to securing jobs at the plant, these monies will also help create 70 new positions.

“Michelin is committed to developing the mobility of goods and people and doing so in a cleaner and more sustainable way,” said Alexis Garcin, president and chief executive officer of Michelin North America, Inc. “With these investments, we will do exactly that: continue to add capacity in the most strategic segments of the tire market to support the transition to electric vehicles and to energy efficient freight transportation, while further reducing the environmental footprint of our products and our plants.”

As part of the deal, the feds are investing up to $44.3 million in federal dollars towards Michelin’s expansion, once a final deal has been reached. 

The venerable tire manufacturer will also get a $61.3 million tax credit over five years through the N.S. Capital Investment Tax Credit. 

Michelin claims to be the largest private employer in N.S. and that’s most likely accurate since the company employs about 4,000 people in Canada, most of which live in Nova Scotia. There’s also 170 marketing and sales staff across the country in customer service, sales and field support, as well as a further 360 workers living in Ontario and Quebec, employed under the Camso brand. 

There’s currently three Michelin plants in Nova Scotia and with the fresh investment, new technologies and equipment will flow into all three production facilities. The monies will enable the firm to produce more energy-efficient tires, including those for EVs.

The announcement followed a tour of the Bridgewater plant that included Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston.

“Nova Scotia is an amazing place to do business and Michelin’s decision to modernize and expand its operations here speaks volumes about our business environment,” said Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston.

“Michelin’s strong commitment to greening their operations aligns with our government’s plan for a clean and green economy, where the environment and Nova Scotians can thrive, and no one is left behind.”

“Companies understand the excellence of Canada’s workers and auto sector – and today’s announcement is a testament to that,” Trudeau said in an announcement. “Here in Nova Scotia, we are once again seeing that when we invest in our workers, we build communities and an economy that works for everyone, while leaving a stronger, healthier future for our kids.”

Not to mention the fact that the Atlantic region seems to be making strides when it comes to picking up the EV baton and running with it. With rapidly growing companies like All EV and Upcycle Green Technology Auto Shop in Stratford, P.E.I., which last year built a light truck from a Toyota Corolla, making it completely electric, Maritimers seem to sense that the beat of the future is green and should be proud to be marching in time with it. 

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