VTC gets $2.9M boost to help manufacturers go green



The province’s important heavy equipment manufacturing sector has received a $2.9 million boost from the federal government to help it transition to low-emission technologies and advanced manufacturing.

The funding comes from PrairiesCan’s Regional Innovation Ecosystems program, but is part of the federal government’s broader push toward a green economy highlighted by the new $15 billion Canada Growth Fund announced in the recent federal budget.


JESSICA LEE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Dan Vandal, Minister responsible for PrairiesCan

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JESSICA LEE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Dan Vandal, Minister responsible for PrairiesCan

The $2.9 million will be administered by the Vehicle Technology Center (VTC), providing the sometimes underfunded nonprofit, which has been in existence since 2002, with one of its largest capital injections ever. carried out.

The organization operates with a volunteer board of directors and works with a small group of approximately 24 companies that include many national and North American leaders, including NFI Group Inc., the largest bus manufacturer in North America (where the funding announcement took place), Buhler Industries, the nation’s only manufacturer of four-wheel-drive tractors, and Fort Garry Fire Trucks, the nation’s largest manufacturer of fire trucks.

Ron Vanderwees, President and CEO of VTC, said the funding will be used to accelerate each company’s product and process development and help with cluster development, such as promoting knowledge sharing and cross-company collaboration. and between businesses and universities.


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Dan Vandal, the minister responsible for PrairiesCan, promoted the Trudeau government’s suite of funding programs announced in the federal budget, many of which targeted the transition to a green economy.

“That’s what the election was basically about last September,” he said. “It’s a major pillar of our platform and we take a whole-of-government approach.”

Details of how the Canada Growth Fund will work are still being rolled out, but it is expected to leverage additional private investment by a factor of three.

He said he is confident that the Prairie provinces will get their share of this $15 billion fund.

Critics say Ottawa’s aid for the transition to a green economy doesn’t go far enough, but it still committed $1.7 billion to extend incentives to buy zero-emission vehicles until 2025; provided $547.5 million to help companies transition their medium and heavy-duty vehicle fleets to zero emissions; proposed a tax credit of up to 30% on net zero technologies, battery storage solutions and clean hydrogen; and funding to build a nationwide network of electric vehicle charging stations.

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Martin Cash

Martin Cash
Journalist

Martin Cash has written a column and business news for the Free Press since 1989. During those years he wrote through a number of business cycles and the rise and fall (and rise) of the fortunes of many local businesses .

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