Provincial and territorial ministers responsible for energy and mining across Canada wrapped up this year’s energy and mines ministers’ conference co-chaired by Saskatchewan last week.
“Our energy and mining sectors are critical to Canada’s economy and account for almost 15 per cent of the national gross domestic product. Energy and mining are a major source of capital investment and generate crucial trade flow and high-quality jobs,” said Saskatchewan energy and resources minister Bronwyn Eyre, who also co-chaired the meeting.
“As Canada emerges from the pandemic, our vibrant, sustainable natural resource sectors will continue to create tremendous economic and social opportunities.”
This year’s meeting focused on “building Canadian competitiveness and stimulating investment in priority areas,” such as energy development and “critical minerals.” Critical minerals are considered essential to advanced manufacturing and technology, including helium, lithium, potash, uranium, aluminum, rare earth elements, copper, cobalt, nickel and zinc.
Energy and mines ministers shared regional perspectives on geoscience, innovation, hydrogen, clean energy technology, electrification and positioning Canada’s resources for investment.
Ministers focused on areas of collaboration that they hope will help advance collective energy and mining agendas, including through the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan.
They also discussed how “innovative clean energy technologies,” including hydrogen, Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), and Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) can help support the Canadian economy and build economic growth.
Ministers said a strong energy sector is critical for Canada’s economic recovery from the global pandemic and discussed a number of “key energy priorities,” including challenges and opportunities around energy transformation in the north, new technologies to drive competitiveness, and clean energy solutions.
A pre-conference session called Indigenous Partnerships and the Future of Natural Resources highlighted “case studies of successful partnerships in energy and mining projects across the country.”
Newfoundland and Labrador will assume the role of co-chair for the next energy and mines ministers’ conference in 2022.