Windsor’s unemployment rate is on the rise. Now at 6.9%. Instead of doing anything about this crisis, City Council sits and ponders the shiny Christmas lights now being strung in a largely out of the way park. There is no urgency and no sense that Council has a clue of what is coming.
As sure as day turns to night, the two Ford engine plants could run out of usefulness in a world soon to be dominated by electric cars. And, don’t forget electric trucks.
On November 3, the future of the nation’s highways became a little clearer. In Vancouver, of all places, Loblaw Companies Limited unveiled its first 53-foot electric Class 8 truck. It is the largest weight class for transport and is expected to set the stage for zero-carbon commercial grocery deliveries in Canada and the start of the end for internal combustion engines.
The grocer, with Real Canadian Superstore, No Frills, and Zehrs outlets locally, has committed itself to a completely electric or hybrid trucking fleet.
This first-of-its-kind truck, the company said in a news release, “marks an important step as Loblaw announced its commitment to move its corporately-owned trucking fleet to electric vehicles. The truck was manufactured by BYD, the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles and a global leader in battery electric buses and trucks.”
Ironically, BYD was the very same company Windsor’s former mayor Eddie Francis was unable to entice to build an electric bus factory here.
Loblaws says it is going electric to reduce carbon emissions from its large fleet of diesel powered transport trucks. It wants a carbon footprint that is 30 percent lower by 2030. By then, Windsor could be a shadow of its current self.
Will the shinkring market for combustion engines end the need for its engine plants? Britain and France have banned the sale of cars with gasoline or diesel engines after 2040.
The city’s tool, mold, and die industry could be gone, or dramatically reduced, as The Square has reported. In less than six years, it faces being replaced by the less costly, more innovative, and less waste-producing 3D printing.
So, what is the city doing to arrest the rising unemployment rate and deal with a bleak future?
Judging by the scarcity of wins, the economic development officer is doing poorly; the regional office no better. The only bright spot is that sports tourism has found another swim meet. Now, an out-of-town organization from Waterloo will use the city’s Olympic-sized swimming pool to hold a synchronized event.
Does anyone else think Windsor Council is suffering a severe case of wrong priorities?