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General Motors says it plans to build motors for electric vehicles at its St. Catharines, Ont. propulsion plant.

The company says the move, subject to support agreements with the federal and provincial governments, is expected to support around 500 jobs at the facility.

The plant currently produces V-6 and V-8 engines as well as transmissions and as of 2021 had about 1,200 employees.

Unifor president Lana Payne says in a statement that the historic investment means auto workers will continue to be the region’s economic backbone for generations to come.

The union, which has previously noted that about a third of auto worker jobs are at risk in the transition to electric vehicle production, said in a news release that it continues to advocate for better industrial policies to secure jobs and investments.

GM says the Ultium electric drive units to be produced at the St. Catharines plant will enable the production of more than 400,000 electric vehicle drive units a year.