Since news about Xinyi Canada Glass Ltd.’s proposed $400 million float glass facility in Stratford, Ontario, became public knowledge, there has been some pushback from citizens and opposition groups. Company president Tommy Wong released a statement addressing several recent claims and defending the proposal.
His statement is as follows:
“There have been many misleading claims recently about Xinyi Canada Glass Limited’s proposed $400 million floating glass facility in Stratford, Ontario. This includes a December 15, CBC News article quoting several false allegations from opposition groups about the objectives and impacts of this facility on the community.
We are deeply disappointed that this misinformation has spread online and in the media. While our track record speaks for itself, we feel the need to correct the record, not only for the future of the Stratford project, but for our valued current workforce, customers and partners.
Xinyi is a publicly listed company in Hong Kong, where its head office is located. It is not a state-owned company, and it conducts business around the world. With three offices in Ontario currently employing over 80 employees, Xinyi has been servicing the Canadian glass industry for over 20 years.
The proposed Stratford facility would benefit not only the local community, but also workers in Ontario’s automotive, manufacturing and construction sectors. Canada is currently 100% reliant on the importation of float glass products. This plant will allow Canada to produce float glass products domestically, a boon to sectors that rely on high-quality glass for projects.
The benefits of this project for Stratford, for Ontario and, indeed, for Canada, are too significant to be drowned out by vested interests with manufactured arguments. Opposition to this project could lead to the loss of significant economic opportunity for Stratford and the broader region.
This facility will create 320 high-skilled and well-paid jobs for initial and trial production operations in 2023. Up to 30 float glass experts will be brought in from overseas to train local employees. Once production reaches full capacity in 2024-2025, the number of local employees will increase to 380. This does not include the estimated 1,000 indirect jobs created in the region for construction and related supporting businesses. Xinyi has committed to recruiting locally and will offer extensive training and development opportunities.
In addition, the facility will house a research and development facility providing technical and engineering jobs to help to develop energy-efficient glass products optimized for the Canadian climate. This will help to combat climate change in Canada and around the world.
Xinyi cares deeply about the safety of the environments in which it operates, and this project is no exception. This advanced manufacturing facility will use the latest energy efficient equipment. The air emissions from the facility are predicted to fully comply with 2023 air quality targets and standards established under the province’s Environmental Protection Act.
In terms of water usage, approximately 60% of the water used will be evaporated as steam that will go back to the atmosphere. Additionally, the city has reviewed its existing water supply and has confirmed that it has the capacity to meet the needs of the facility. Stratford currently uses 30.8% of the allowable permit of total water and, with the water usage by Xinyi, this will increase to no more than 38.6%. We look forward to helping Stratford reach its goals outlined in the Climate Emergency Declaration earlier this year.
We are committed to working constructively with government partners and members of the community to build this project. Manufacturing has been the backbone of Ontario’s economy for over a century and we’re proud to be contributing to this legacy in a mutually beneficial manner.”