George Brown College hosts Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault for EV regulations announcement 

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As the Canadian government accelerates the use of zero-emission vehicles, George Brown College continues "skating to where the puck is going," ready to train future servicing professionals with the largest EV (electric vehicle) technician program of its kind in North America.

Group picture with Steven Guilbeault and Anita Anand

At George Brown's Daphne Cockwell Centre for Health Sciences at Waterfront Campus, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault announced the finalization of the new Electric Vehicle Availability Standard. The regulations aim to increase the Canadian supply of zero-emission vehicles and set a 2035 target for 100 per cent of new vehicles sold to be emissions-free. The move puts Canada in line with other parts of the world prioritizing clean transportation, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. Similar standards are in place in British Columbia and Quebec.   

The atmosphere here at George Brown is electric. What an ideal place to be talking about the transformation underway in Canada," Guilbeault said.  

Driving toward the solution 

Before his announcement, Guilbeault and his parliamentary colleagues met with students and faculty from the EV Technician program, a one-year certificate program that trains students to service electric vehicles and charging stations. Colin Simpson, Dean of the Centre for Continuous Learning, along with program faculty demonstrated how the EV technician program works through an online simulation before the announcement. 

"They know electric cars are the future. They are skating to where the puck is going, preparing for careers with good-paying jobs," Guilbeault said, adding the decision to pursue a career in the EV sector also comes from a place of concern for the future. "But the choice they're making with their careers gives us hope. Young people, like those studying at George Brown, are driving toward the solution that we need to build a more sustainable and prosperous future."  

At the podium to join Minister Guilbeaut were several federal politicians, including:  

  • Minister Anita Anand, Treasury Board President 
  • Minister Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario 
  • MP Julie Dabrusin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and to the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources 
  • Three additional Toronto MPs 

Other representatives also joined at the podium from the Canadian Lung Association and Plug and Drive, along with George Brown College Senior Vice-President of External Relations, Communications and Real Estate Development Joe Cressy. 

"Building a more sustainable and prosperous country is the task of every one of us in industry and post-secondary, in workplaces and communities. We all have a role to play, but it starts with government, and that's what we're seeing here today," Cressy said.   

Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault at podium
EV announcement podium

Flexible and online EV technician training at GBC

Steven Guilbeault with EV Technician students

George Brown launched the EV Technician program in 2022 to meet surging demand for EV servicing professionals. The online and self-paced certificate program uses simulation software to train students to diagnose, service and repair powertrains and control systems in EVs, including those made by Tesla, Nissan and General Motors. The installation and maintenance of charging stations is also a key part of the program.  

While the program provides an excellent upskilling option for mechanics and electricians looking to break into the booming EV sector, anyone can enrol, and no technical experience is necessary.  

"[The EV Technician program] has been a huge success. In just one year, we've partnered with 19 colleges and universities across Canada and the United States to administer it," Cressy said. He added that more than 600 students have so far enrolled, "and after today's announcement, we're confident more will join."  

Learn about the EV Technician program

The EV Technician program is just the beginning; watch out for new "clean tech" programs George Brown will soon launch, including the Wind Turbine Technician program this spring.