Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Francois Legault held a press conference on Monday to announce the joint financing of a new battery plant in Quebec operated by the electric bus manufacturer Lion, La Presse reports.
The two leaders have not met in person since 2019, months before the coronavirus pandemic struck Canada. The pair met at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, one of the few places reserved public health authorities for politicians to meet in.
The government of Canada will be offering grants to the company, whereas the Quebec government will offer "forgivable loans," which are loans that will be forgiven under the condition that the company creates jobs. Lion previously estimated the cost of building the new plant at $200 million.
The plant will be located in Saint-Jérôme, a suburb of Montreal. The company has leased a plot of land of nearly half a million square feet for 25 years, an agreement conditioned on the company getting government funding.
Lion already has a plant in Saint-Jérôme which develops batteries, but the process is done with the help of a third party. The plant has a production capacity of 2,500 vehicles per year.
The announcement comes as Lion plans an international expansion, attempting to get itself listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and to build a new plant in the United States.