Ontario has a new plan to attract and retain more women to the auto industry.
The government announced Wednesday it will spend $6.4 million to develop a “beauty car” and to create a partnership with a car care centre.
The government will partner with Car Care of Ontario, which specializes in beauty care for the elderly and disabled.
It will invest $6 million to create the “beautiful blue car” at Car Care’s new facility in Sudbury.
It would be the first time Ontario has created a car-based beauty service.
“The beauty care profession is one that has been marginalized for a long time,” said Marie-Claude Chatelain, the government’s minister of human services and minister responsible for women, aging and care.
“We want to create opportunities for women to participate and work in the industry, and that is why we have made this announcement.”
The announcement comes amid the ongoing opioid crisis and a national debate about what constitutes a “good job.”
The government’s announcement follows a similar initiative announced last month in Ottawa to create an initiative to attract women into the auto and auto-repair business.
Ontario’s government said it would invest $1.5 million to train women at auto centres and at other businesses.
Ontario has a $8-billion auto industry, with a $2-billion deficit.
The province’s chief executive says the provincial government has spent billions of dollars on a number of initiatives to increase the number of jobs in the auto sector, but that the number has remained stagnant.
“We are not where we need to be,” Premier Kathleen Wynne said Wednesday.
“If we don’t take action, this is going to happen.”
The auto industry has a long history of women being excluded from jobs.
In recent years, the automotive industry has faced an increase in domestic violence and discrimination.
Last year, a federal judge ruled Ontario’s ban on male-only parking spaces violated a man’s right to free speech.
In the past, a report by the Ontario government found that the auto repair industry suffered a loss of at least $60 billion annually, and warned the industry could be facing a $70 billion deficit by 2030.