Prime Minister Trudeau at the First Ministers' Meeting in Vancouver
Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us.
My fellow First Ministers and I just wrapped up a very productive meeting, which I’m pleased to tell you about.
In the spirit of close cooperation and collaboration, we spent the morningdiscussing the economy and how we can build a stronger, cleaner, more modern Canada.
We agreed that both immediate and long-term action is needed to support economic growth, job creation, and economic prosperity.
A key element of that action is investment in infrastructure.
To spur economic growth in the short term, the federal government has committed to fast-tracking existing infrastructure allocations in all of the provinces and territories, in addition to making significant new investments in infrastructure.
We will invest in green infrastructure projects, which will help to create good middle class jobs and grow our economy in a sustainable way.
We also discussed the critical importance of fostering innovation, encouraging trade, and investing in skills development, so that Canadians have the capacity to land good quality jobs in the low-carbon economy.
We agreed to undertake necessary reforms to our internal market in order to ensure enhanced Canadian competitiveness on the world stage.
The premiers and I discussed our shared vision of a country that fully harnesses technology and innovation, embraces a low-carbon economy, and positions itself as a global leader in the area of clean growth.
I am pleased to say we took a significant step towards achieving these goals by charting a common way forward on a pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change.
The framework, which builds on the momentum generated at COP21 in Paris, recognizes that growing our economy and protecting our environment go hand-in-hand. It also recognizes that the health and security of Canadians, as well as our economy, infrastructure, and ecosystems are being impacted by climate change. And finally, that climate risks and inaction have significant economic and social implications for us all.
So let me outline some of the specific actions we’ve committed to.
Under the framework, we will invest in green infrastructure, public transit, and energy efficient social infrastructure.
First Ministers have directed that reports be developed by the fall of this year to identify options for additional action in four areas:
- clean technology, innovation and jobs;
- carbon pricing mechanisms;
- specific mitigation opportunities; and
- adaptation and climate resilience.
Federal, provincial, and territorial governments will also ensure robust and coordinated engagement with Indigenous Peoples, all orders of government, businesses, stakeholders, and Canadians to make this vision a reality.
This year, we will also work to sign and ratify the Paris Agreement. In addition, my Government intends to present to the United Nations a plan that is firmly rooted in collaboration and consultation, and represents all of Canada.
To achieve our goals, we will build on the actions taken by provinces and territories, and will identify additional measures that all governments can take to achieve economic growth and emission reduction objectives in the longer term.
For its part, the Government of Canada has committed to:
supporting climate change mitigation and adaptation through investments in green infrastructure, public transit infrastructure, and energy efficient social infrastructure;
working together with the provinces and territories on how best to lever federal investments in the Low Carbon Economy Fund to realize incremental emission reductions; working with other governments and the private sector to advance the electrification of vehicle transportation;
fostering dialogue and the development of regional plans for clean electricity transmission to reduce emissions;
advancing efforts to eliminate the dependence on diesel in Indigenous, remote, and Northern communities – replaced by renewable energy and energy efficiency; and finally as part of Canada’s participation in Mission Innovation, doubling investments in clean energy, research and development over five years, and working with global partners to promote cleaner energy and better environmental outcomes.
Building on our progress today, we are confident that we are setting the country on a path towards long-term clean growth, critical emissions reductions, and a healthier, more prosperous future for all Canadians.
The collective will and solidarity we have shown in our discussions today is very promising. It’s exactly the spirit we need to tackle climate change and grow our economy—for us, for our children, for the middle class, and for those working hard to join it.
I look forward to our First Ministers Meeting in the fall, where we’ll finalize the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change.
By working together, we will restore Canada’s reputation for environmental stewardship, and generate real, positive change for all Canadians.