Xinyi Canada Glass Ltd. has released a statement updating the public about its proposed float glass facility in Stratford, Ontario. This comes two months after company president Tommy Wong released a statement addressing local pushback and defending the proposal.
The company’s most recent statement is as follows:
“Xinyi Canada is greatly disappointed that as of February 15, 2021, Stratford City Council remained unable to provide approval of the Cost Sharing Agreement between the City of Stratford and Xinyi Canada, which is critical for the timely development of the proposed float glass facility.
Ever since it accepted the City of Stratford’s invitation to meet in 2018, Xinyi Canada has been working in consultation with city officials on the development of an innovative glass facility proposal. Twelve technical studies have been completed by local professional consulting teams engaged by Xinyi Canada to ensure compliance with relevant federal, provincial and municipal regulatory requirements, including safety and environmental standards. The facility’s advanced air quality management system would have been capable of meeting even more stringent air quality standards to be introduced in 2023.
Currently, Canada is entirely reliant on importation of all float glass products and energy-saving glass products. Most of these products are imported from the U.S. Xinyi Canada’s proposed facility in Stratford would have established a secure Canadian supply of essential float glass products capable of meeting the demands of the Canadian market and eliminating dependence on imports.
With capital investment of $400 million, the project would have benefited Stratford and the surrounding region in many respects. The plant was designed to create 380 permanent, high-skilled and well-paid jobs over five years, as well as over 1,000 indirect jobs in construction and related supporting businesses.
The project had been progressing well leading up to November 2020, pending final approval of the Cost Sharing Agreement by the Stratford City Council. Unfortunately, misinformation and falsehoods spread by small opposition groups have negatively impacted public perception of the project. Radical insinuations were made, with overt hostility demonstrated in opposition to the project’s development.
In light of the continued deferral of approval by Stratford City Council, Xinyi Canada has decided to suspend the project indefinitely to avoid further financial loss and unfounded attacks on its reputation.
Xinyi Canada appreciates the support received for the project by many local residents and the business community, and is grateful to the federal and Ontario governments for their support of the project based on the benefits it can bring to Canada and Ontario with respect to job creation, economic growth and a secured local source of float glass and energy-saving glass products serving the needs of Canada. Xinyi looks forward to bringing the project back to Ontario when the investment environment is more welcoming.”