Strengthening electric vehicle supply chains with Canadian resources
We need, of course, efficiency in our supply chains, but we also really need resilience in our supply chains. Russia is no longer a reliable supplier of energy to Europe, and that has caused the European economy to have to shift significantly in some of the essential ingredients that they have for their economic well-being and for their citizens’ well-being.
Similarly, people are realizing that this extraordinary transformation that’s going on in our economy, towards electric vehicles, towards more high-tech advanced solutions on everything we do, is going to require access to critical minerals and rare earth elements that, to this point, have been dominated by China, as a somewhat challenging partner at the best of times.
And that’s why the world is looking to Canada, because Canada has incredible amounts of the critical elements and the rare earth elements that the world needs. But on top of just having the elements, we have an incredibly strong workforce, well-educated, ambitious, innovative thinkers, we have reliable supply chains and trade deals with the world, and we have a level of environmental responsibility that is increasingly important to customers around the world.
People don’t just want to be able to build things; they want to be able to build things and say that they’re done with clean steel, clean electricity, clean aluminum, clean critical minerals, done in partnership and with respect with Indigenous Peoples. This is the way the world is moving, and fortunately, Canada is extraordinarily well-positioned to do just that. Particularly here in Saskatoon and Saskatchewan that is a mining hub, we’ve seen innovation and leadership on developing the kinds of solutions in a reliable, friendly partner that the world needs, which is causing an awful lot of interest.
So, what we’re seeing here is rare earth elements mined with an Indigenous partnership in the Northwest Territories, shipped down here to Vital Metals in Saskatoon, where the processing and the value is added, so that we’re able to be a reliable supplier of rare earth elements that are absolutely essential in building the magnets that are… go into so much of our clean tech and modern technology. These electric vehicle batteries, that’s going to be reliant on the innovative ways of generating clean energy, these are things that Canada has not just the raw materials for, but the extraordinary workers that are going to be able to deliver it.
That’s what we’ve been focused on as a government over the past number of years, building up that reliability, building those investments in good jobs for the future that we’re starting to see actually land now. This is one of the very first facilities of its kind in North America, and we know there’s more to come. But the work that heavy metals has… sorry, that Vital Metals has been doing here, is paving the way for good jobs long into the future for people here in Saskatoon, and indeed across the country.
That’s what’s exciting about this moment right now, is the world is turning to Canada as a reliable supplier of the products and the resources that are needed. From lithium produced in Quebec and Ontario, to potash from Saskatchewan, to rare earth elements mined in the far north, to critical minerals right across the country, when you add that to Canadian workforce’s know-how, Canadian workers’ innovation and ambition, a cleaner electricity grid than many places around the world – and more investments to come on that – environmental responsibility of partnership with Indigenous peoples, these are the things that create good jobs now, and ensure good jobs for communities for decades and generations to come.
Yes, the world is changing, but Canadians are ready to lead in that change. And the incredible workers here at Vital Metals and folks like them across the Prairies, across the country, are what is giving Canada its competitive edge in the world. I’m on a three-day tour right now to look at the battery supply chain from A to ZEV, and the fact is that we’re seeing an opportunity for Canada to really step up. And that’s what workers and companies like this, and leaders like Charlie Clark are seeing and glad to work with the federal government on.
I want to highlight the Government of Saskatchewan has been a great partner in mining as well, we’re doing a lot of innovating things with them, and we’re going to continue to work together as we ensure good jobs for workers well into the future, as the world and the interest of the world in Canada evolves and improves.
It’s a great pleasure to be here in Saskatoon to talk about the opportunity for workers and companies here in Canada to be the source of solutions, resources, products the world needs for a transition to zero-electric… zero-emission vehicles, for the transition to better, more advanced technologies, to ensure that we are protecting the planet and creating good jobs for families around the world. It is these kinds of products, these kinds of solutions that Canada, and especially Canadians, can deliver.
So, I’m very happy to be here with Mayor Clark. I’m very pleased with all the work being done with the Government of Saskatchewan to build the necessary ecosystem for solutions for the entire world.
This is an exciting time to be forward-looking at what the world needs from Canada, and with extraordinary workers like this, with innovative investments like this, with partnerships across orders of government, Canada is extraordinarily well-positioned to succeed in the decades to come.