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ONTARIO | REGIONAL NEWS

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FINANCIAL FACT-CHECK

New information suggests that rumours of a new Gigafactory in Ontario are increasingly likely, aligning with Tesla’s plan to expand production by 13 new factories, and Ontario’s goal to become a global electric vehicle production hub. While the Ontario government has not released a statement specifically discussing a potential Gigafactory, the province has retooled its production towards electric vehicles (EVs) over the past few months.

“Our government has created the right economic conditions to attract yet another historic investment that further positions Ontario as a North American leader in developing and building the cars of the future,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

Some of these economic conditions to attract investments include establishing new EV component factories, mining projects to support EV battery production, and installing more EV chargers across the province.

Ontario’s focus on becoming an all-rounder in EV production rather than focusing on singular components would fall in line with Tesla’s aim to establish more Gigafactories, massive factories the size of three Pentagons that would become the refining, assembly and manufacturing point for all Tesla components and vehicles.

A Tesla Gigafactory in Grünheide, Germany; image by Olaf Arndt. The size of these factories is the result of Tesla’s effort to maximize its economic and technological edge; “and that’s why [Tesla factories] are so freaking giant,” said Elon Musk in the All-In podcast.

SERVICE WITH A SMILE

The average hourly wage for a Service Ontario customer representative employee is approximately $20–25$ per hour. While this is a serviceable wage for some, it wasn’t enough for the four employees who aided a huge stolen vehicle crime ring busted.

The bust comes from Project Myra, an investigation located throughout the Peel, Toronto, York, and Durham regions. The investigation which began in September 2020 resulted in the seizure of 210 vehicles with an evaluation of around $12 million. Drugs, firearms, various amounts of Canadian/U.S. currency, and two laser marking machines were also seized in the investigation.

The police executed 44 search warrants during the bust, charging 28 individuals with 242 offences in total. Most of the stolen vehicles were either to be resold or used in criminal activity, clarified police involved in the investigation. The implication of the four Service Ontario Employees concerns the ‘re-vinning’ of stolen vehicles, whereby the original vehicle identification number (VIN) is replaced with a forged number.

Employees at Service Ontario are accused of assisting in changing the VINs of stolen vehicles for resale or use within criminal organizations. The employees would have provided valuable inside knowledge and support for the criminals stealing, re-registering, and reselling vehicles. Having an inside person would have allowed for a portion of the criminal process to go unnoticed, or at least arise less suspicion, said authorities.

A significant portion of the stolen vehicles were reused within the criminal organizations involved or sold to willing buyers aware of the vehicle’s origins. However, a portion of the cars found throughout the investigation were sold to unknowing buyers.

A GRAND AFFAIR

CARSTAR Newmarket celebrated the opening of its new space in style, as owner Romena Deokinandan and her family welcomed members some big industry names and members of the local community for a day of food and fellowship.

Conveniently located along the Harry Walker Parkway in Newmarket, this new production space will allow the family and their team to ramp up their repair volume considerably, and make proper use of the new Glasurit 100 line and their state-of-the-art Blowtherm spray booth. “You could prime a fender in five minutes,” beamed Bisram Deokinandan, Romena’s husband, co-owner of CARSTAR Newmarket and longtime automotive refinisher. “He’s been enjoying the new Glasurit 100 line, I promise you that,” joked Brian Busby of BASF Canada.

The Deokinandan family celebrates with Newmarket’s deputy mayor Tom Vegh post-ribbon cutting
Newmarket’s deputy mayor, Tom Vegh was present for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and bestowed upon the family a certificate of congratulations from the city.
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