Canada needs South Korean labour at a subsidized electric car battery plant because “we’ve never done batteries,” Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne said yesterday. Cabinet would not disclose how many foreign workers it agreed to subsidize at a Stellantis factory in Windsor, Ont.

“We have to understand this is a new technology,” said Minister Champagne. “We’ve never done batteries in North America really. So you’ll have a few people, a very few people, selected people, who need to come to transfer technology because this is a new industry.”

“You knew there were going to be temporary foreign workers?” asked a reporter. “No, not necessarily,” replied Champagne. “But I’m saying I’m not surprised you would have transfer of knowledge. No one has done batteries in North America before so you need certain key people to transfer the knowledge.”

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