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Tesla has named a new Canadian employee focussing on critical minerals and supply chain in its latest Quebec lobbyist registry filings. Photo: Tesla

Tesla names a new high-level Canadian employee in its latest Quebec lobbyist registry documents while opening a call for a “high-volume” recruiter in Montreal and visiting Nouveau Monde Graphite in the province

Tesla has named a new Canadian employee focussing on critical minerals and supply chain in its latest Quebec lobbyist registry filings. The disclosure comes just days after Tesla reportedly visited Nouveau Monde Graphite in the province and since it began seeking applications for a “high-volume” recruiter in Montreal.

Aleem Ladak is working at Tesla in government policy for critical minerals and supply chain. Photo: LinkedIn

Aleem Ladak, a mining engineer in Toronto and formerly a senior mineral economist and battery mineral advisor at the Ontario Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, is now working for Tesla in government policy for critical minerals and supply chain, Electric Autonomy Canada can exclusively reveal.

Ladak, who did not reply to Electric Autonomy‘s request for an interview, joined Tesla in August from the Ontario ministry, according to Tesla’s latest Quebec lobbyist records from September. Ladak, however, is not registered as a lobbyist in Ontario or federally.

According to his professional profile, Ladak graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2006 with a bachelor of geophysical/geological engineering. He went on to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2019, where he studied artificial intelligence and its impact on business.

Tesla’s recent Canadian supply chain activities

Tesla has over 1,000 Canadian employees spread “over 200,000 square feet of manufacturing operations at two locations in the Toronto area and three R&D locations in Canada,” wrote the company’s national senior manager of public policy and business development in Canada, Iain Myrans, in a social media post earlier this year.

The timing of Ladek’s hiring and his title would suggest that he has filled the role that Tesla advertised in April. As we reported at that time, Tesla was looking for a candidate to “work on a variety of matters related to light- and heavy-duty vehicle regulation in addition to a particular focus on global battery minerals and responsible sourcing policy.”

It also coincides with a number of other moves over the summer that point to a potential watershed moment of growth for the American automaker north of the border.

In July, Tesla registered a new lobbying goal with Ontario to “identify opportunities for industrial and/or advanced manufacturing facility permitting reforms.”

The automaker registered a similar goal with the federal government in August and Canada’s minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) François-Philippe Champagne visited Tesla’s Markham facility later that month telling Electric Autonomy in an interview, “We’re engaging with Tesla.”

It’s notable in Tesla’s new Quebec registry documents they have not updated their goals to reflect seeking out manufacturing opportunities in the province.

However, in late August or early September, Tesla officials are said to have visited graphite mining company Nouveau Monde’s Quebec operations, as reported by Electrek. Around the same time Tesla also listed on its website a job posting for “a high volume, an extraordinary recruiter” in Montreal.

Electric Autonomy reached out to Nouveau Monde to confirm Tesla’s visit. A Nouveau Monde spokesperson replied via email, “Unfortunately, we are not in a position to comment on any potential discussions with clients.”

Tesla in Canada timeline

As Tesla’s presence in Canada grows, here is a timeline of the company’s major public milestones in the country:

  • November 2012: Tesla opens its first Canadian retail store at Yorkdale Shopping Mall, in Toronto
  • June 2016: Tesla signs first research agreement for a five-year term with lithium-ion battery pioneer Jeff Dahn, who is based at his lab at Dalhousie University in Halifax.
  • February 2017: Tesla hires Toronto-based Iain Myrans to fill its national manager for policy and government relations position in Canada.
  • May 2018: Tesla begins to sell the Model 3 in Canada.
  • January 2019: Tesla hires Quebec-based Audrey Dépault to fill its public policy and business development position in Canada.
  • October 2019: Electric Autonomy exclusively reports that Tesla bought Richmond Hill, Ont.-based, Hibar Systems Ltd., a precision battery equipment manufacturing company.
  • December 2019: Tesla completes the Halifax-to-Vancouver Supercharger corridor.
  • 2020: Hibar is renamed Tesla Toronto Automation ULC.
  • September 2020: Tesla quietly purchases Mississauga, Ont.-based Springpower — a battery cathode technology company. Tesla now uses the lab as a dedicated battery R&D centre (its third R&D location in Canada). As part of the purchase Tesla also acquired three battery patents from Springpower for $3.
  • January 2021: Tesla renews its research contract with Dahn’s lab.
  • November 2021: Tesla opens its first branded factory in Markham, Ont., where it makes battery equipment to be sent to Giga Berlin and Giga Texas.
  • March 2022: Tesla is rumoured to have signed a deal with Vale to secure Canadian nickel. It is confirmed two months later by the automaker in a disclosure report.
  • April 2022: Tesla posts a job for a senior policy associate in critical minerals and supply chain based to be in Toronto.
  • July 2022: Tesla updates its Ontario lobbyist registry documents with a new goal reading, “Engage with the government and its agencies to identify opportunities for industrial and/or advanced manufacturing facility permitting reforms with the intent to increase the competitiveness of Ontario and its ability to attract capital investment through establishing approvals timeframes that are competitive with high-growth manufacturing locations in North America, while also working with government to identify or align incentives programs that could further increase the attractiveness of Ontario for industrial and/or advanced manufacturing investment.”
  • August 2022: Musk polls Tesla annual meeting attendees about where the next Tesla factory should go and mused aloud, “We get a lot of Canada. I am half Canadian, maybe I should?”
  • August 2022: Multiple sources tell Electric Autonomy that Tesla officials are scouting various locations in Canada for a potential manufacturing facility.
  • August 2022: Tesla updates its federal lobbyist registry documents in Canada to reflect its goal to explore manufacturing options in the country. ISED’s Minister Champagne confirms his office is in talks with Tesla and he visits Tesla’s Markham facility.
  • August 2022: Tesla announces it’s doubling the size of its Canadian Supercharger network team.
  • August 2022: Ladak is hired to work in government policy for critical minerals and supply chain in Toronto.
  • September 2022: Tesla updates its Quebec lobbyist registration documents to disclose Ladak as a lobbyist in the province.