September 28, 2020                              Ottawa, Ontario                           Natural Resources Canada    

Canada’s energy and mines ministers concluded their annual conference with a shared vision to ensure the economic recovery attracts investment and supports the long-term competitiveness of the Canadian energy and mining sectors.

Co-chaired by the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources and the Honourable Ranj Pillai, Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources for Yukon, the 2020 Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference (EMMC) was held virtually on September 25 and 28.

Ministers discussed opportunities to drive Canada’s natural resources advantage — by building on Canada’s strong environmental, social and governance performance record to attract investment, generate new value chains and create job opportunities across Canada, including for Indigenous businesses and communities.  Ministers agreed that an inclusive approach that builds capacity and ensures diversity is a key ingredient to Canada’s successful economic recovery.

Ministers also signalled their desire to work together on topics of common interest, including hydrogen, small modular reactors and critical minerals / batteries.  Canada is globally recognized as an innovative leader in those fields.  Ministers agreed that their collaboration can unlock new markets, attract investment, create jobs and drive decarbonisation to support industrial competitiveness.  Against this backdrop, they agreed to: 

  • Build upon provincial and territorial plans on hydrogen and the forthcoming Hydrogen Strategy for Canada, to create a Hydrogen Working Group as a forum for multilateral discussions and advance cooperation.
  •  Recognizing the important contribution that small modular reactors (SMRs) can make to Canada’s economic recovery, as well as clean energy and climate change objectives, interested Ministers agreed to advance collaboration on the development and deployment of SMRs in Canada.
  • Work together to build an all-Canadian Critical Minerals and Battery value chain across sectors and pursue engagement with our partners in the U.S. and beyond.

Acknowledging the opportunity to accelerate economic recovery through mining, Ministers agreed to an update to the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan Action Plan 2020, highlighting industry challenges resulting from COVID-19 and progress on the pan-Canadian initiatives introduced in March. Responsible development of our rich and diversified mineral resources can lead the way to a green recovery and ensure Canada’s prosperity in the future economy.

There was a special session with Indigenous leaders to gain a better understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on Indigenous businesses and communities, and to discuss ways to increase Indigenous participation in energy and mining sectors and economic recovery planning.

Finally, Ministers heard from Canada’s Ambassador to the U.S. Kirsten Hillman about recent developments in the U.S.  Ministers agreed to work collegially to ensure our collective interests are well represented in the U.S. going forward.

 

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