Committee
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Consult the user guide
For assistance, please contact us
Add search criteria
Results: 1 - 30 of 48268
View Sherry Romanado Profile
Lib. (QC)
Good morning, everyone. I now call this meeting to order.
Welcome to meeting number 35 of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology.
Today's meeting is taking place in a hybrid format pursuant to the House order of January 25, 2021. The proceedings will be made available via the House of Commons website. So that you are aware, the webcast will always show the person speaking rather than the entirety of the committee.
To ensure an orderly meeting, I would like to outline a few rules to follow. Members and witnesses may speak in the official language of their choice. Interpretation services are available for this meeting. You have the choice at the bottom of your screen of floor, English or French. Please select your preference.
I will remind you that all comments by members and witnesses should be addressed through the chair. Before speaking, please wait until I recognize you by name. When you are not speaking, your microphone should be on mute. For the sake of the interpreters, please do not speak over each other.
As is my normal practice, I will hold up a yellow card when you have 30 seconds left in your intervention. I will hold up a red card when your time has expired. Please keep your screen in the gallery view so that you can see me showing you the cards. Also, as we have a very tight schedule today, I do not want to intervene when you go over, but I will.
Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2) and the motion adopted by the committee on November 5, 2020, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology is meeting today to continue its study on the green economic recovery from COVID-19.
I would like to welcome our witnesses.
Today we have with us, from Analytica Advisors, Ms. Céline Bak, president; from ERA Environmental Management Solutions, Mr. Gary Vegh, senior environment toxicologist and co-chief executive officer, and Ms. Sarah Sajedi, chief technology officer and co-chief executive officer; from the Forest Products Association of Canada, Mr. Derek Nighbor, president and CEO; from GreenCentre Canada, Ms. Lynne Manuel, executive director, and Mr. Andrew Pasternak, director, commercialization and business development; Dr. Heather Exner-Pirot, fellow of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute; and, from SRG Mining Inc., Mr. Benoit La Salle, executive chairman of the board.
Each witness will present for up to five minutes, which will be followed by rounds of questions.
With that, we will begin with Ms. Céline Bak.
You have the floor for five minutes.
Céline Bak
View Céline Bak Profile
Céline Bak
2021-04-29 11:05
I would like to begin by stating that my home is on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe Nation, and that this land has contributed to my privilege.
I want to thank those who are working to protect and care for us during this pandemic.
Distinguished members of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, thank you for this opportunity to participate in the committee's work.
As people who believe in the importance of government and public policy, we are compelled to think about how we can build back better after this pandemic.
My name is Céline Bak, and I am president of Analytica Advisors. I work as a global management consultant on ESG projects for large and small companies, and as an expert in sustainable finance policy.
Achieving a 45% reduction in Canada's greenhouse gas, GHG, emissions by 2030 is an important part of building back better. We must also ensure that we take care of the young and the old, and enable everyone to contribute fully to our society.
In regard to innovation, science and technology, the Government of Canada's recent budget signalled its intent to build an equitable society that works within the planet's boundaries, that is to say, an intent to build back better. This committee is undertaking its work at a time when an important consensus is forming and policies are coming together on how to build back better.
I will speak of three threads: one in Canada, one in the European Union and one in the U.S.
The first thread, from Canada, is that clean technology was one of nine economic sectors analyzed as part of innovation, science and technology's Industry Strategy Council . The council's report, “Restart, recover and reimagine prosperity for all Canadians”, was published in December 2020.
One of the council's recommendations called for an industrial strategy that included deployment of made-in-Canada clean technology within each of these four pillars: first, become a digital and data-driven economy; second, be the ESG world leader in resources, clean energy and clean technology; third, build an innovative and high-value manufacturing sector where we can lead globally; and fourth, leverage Canada's agri-food advantage to feed the planet.
These are important conclusions, which I recommend for the committee's consideration.
The second thread, from the European Union, is its industrial strategy, which overlaps with the council's recommendations and signals a strong consensus on the opportunity for zero-carbon and digital industries. In fact, half of Europe's 673-billion euro recovery and resilience fund, to be invested before 2024, is directed at stimulating private sector investment. If adjusted to Canada's GDP, this stimulus would be equal to $13 billion in annual public stimulus over the period 2021 to 2023, about $3 billion a year more than what was recommended in the building back better Canada plan published last summer.
I recommend that the committee consider that to be awarded EU recovery and resilience funds, private sector proponents must propose projects that meet the following criteria: first, ensure a three- or four-to-one leverage of private sector investment to public sector stimulus; second, advance the EU's goal of a 55% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030; and third, for projects led by large firms, engage as partners, at least four SMEs, to ensure that companies that are scaling up have access to large and growing markets and can participate in high-growth digital and zero-carbon industries.
In Canada, we have many firms that are ready to deliver fully commercial, sustainable products. We invested in them many years ago through globally leading technology organizations, such as GreenCentre Canada, Emissions Reduction Alberta and Sustainable Development Technology Canada.
For example, since 2009, ERA has committed $646 million to 204 projects worth over $4.5 billion to support the development and adoption of technologies to reduce emissions.
We can expect the same from our neighbours to the south, which is the third thread in the consensus that I wanted to speak to today.
In the U.S., I suggest that the committee keep a clean eye on the clean future act, the act which directs each federal agency to develop a plan, using existing authorities, to achieve the U.S.'s national climate goals in combination with all other agencies. It creates a process for public review, as well as review by the EPA, before each federal agency submits its plan to Congress and begins implementation. It further requires each agency to review its plan at least every two years and to submit an annual report to Congress.
If Canada took the same approach, the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology would be asking the Minister to present the department's plan to reduce emissions by 45% by 2030 in his areas of jurisdiction. In addition to the Net Zero Accelerator fund announcements, the Minister's plan would include a report on emissions from all industries under his jurisdiction, including the automotive, aerospace, rail, pharmaceutical, defence and telecommunications sectors.
Thank you for your attention.
Derek Nighbor
View Derek Nighbor Profile
Derek Nighbor
2021-04-29 11:11
Thanks, Madam Chair. I am Derek Nighbor with the Forest Products Association of Canada in west Ottawa, on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe people. Thanks for the opportunity to be here today.
I want to start by saying that in large part because of the hard work of our over 200,000 forestry workers across the country, our supply chain partners, our industry's deep commitment to health and safety and swift federal and provincial government actions during this pandemic, our sector has been one of the bright lights in the current economy. For the most part, we've been able to keep our people working, deliver essential products to Canadians and contribute to increased levels of revenue to governments across the country over the past year. While many parts of our industry were forced to shut down or limit operations during the first couple of months of the pandemic as customer orders collapsed and prices in lumber and other wood segments plummeted by over 30%, we quickly got people back to work safely and got our part of the economy moving again. We’ve been working non-stop since.
One of our proudest moments, with the support of Natural Resources Canada and Canadian scientists and researchers at FPInnovations, was the development of a world first—a biodegradable non-medical mask made from what would otherwise have been wood waste from Canada's sustainably managed forests. We're pretty proud of that. We thank the government for its support in launching that innovation.
As we think about recovery and our ability to be self-sufficient, we in Canada continue to be in a unique position to leverage the power of our sustainably managed forests and Canadian-made forest products for our people. The products range from lumber for building construction and home renovations to toilet paper, sanitary wipes and paper towels. They range from pulp for protective masks and hospital gowns to biofuels for heating systems. As the government advances its post-pandemic recovery plans, we in Canadian forestry can sustain jobs, attract more global investment, get more people working and be a leader in our shared move to a lower-carbon economy. We will need some help, and we will need the government to do things a little bit differently to help us get there.
Our low-carbon, job-creating solutions are many, and they exist right across the value chain. As the Speech from the Throne said last fall, “farmers, foresters, and ranchers [are] key partners in the fight against climate change”, and governments need to support “their efforts to reduce emissions and build resilience.” We couldn't agree more.
We've been somewhat challenged by the government’s well-intended yet siloed approach to leveraging some of forestry’s environmental and economic solutions. We'd strongly endorse an approach similar to some of our peer nations, such as Sweden and Finland. They have done really robust, sector-wide and very deep full value chain approaches to recovery to maximize carbon and broader environmental benefits and recovery and job opportunities.
Our solutions start in the forest through ecosystems-based management under the purview of provincial governments. They're informed by robust local consultation. This is important work that involves dealing with many values, including dealing with pest and catastrophic fire risks and keeping communities safer from fire. It extends to opportunities to build more with carbon-storing wood products and accelerate the forest-based bioeconomy so that we can bring more environmentally friendly products to Canada and the world.
Back in December, we released a report that provided a bit of a road map for the government to consider under the guise of pandemic recovery. I want to share a few of the top lines from that report, which you can find on FPAC's website.
Today we have over 140 shovel-ready projects across the country, worth over $1.5 billion, that can improve Canadian competitiveness, lower our carbon footprint, save jobs and create new ones. We have solutions to advance renewable fuels development and to accelerate the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers' forest bioeconomy framework. We can ensure that forest management and the conservation measures within Canada’s managed forests are recognized as nature-based climate solutions and help us achieve our conservation and carbon goals.
We need to recognize that worsening fire and pest outbreaks are seriously impacting our country's carbon story. According to the last state of the forest report by NRCan, 251 megatonnes of carbon went up into the air just from forest fires alone. That's an important consideration as we think about carbon and conservation policy going forward. We do have growing concerns around the lack of alignment between federal and provincial governments on forest policy and duplicative regulations that are creating confusion and adding costs.
In closing, the government has stood with us quite firmly in the face of the softwood lumber debate. We would like the government to continue to stand with us as we deal with some anti-forestry bills coming out of the state legislatures in New York and California that are fuelled by anti-Canadian resource activists. I'd be happy to talk about that more.
At this point last year, I was the toilet paper man. This year, I'm the lumber man. I'm happy to answer any market-related questions during the Q and A.
Thanks for the opportunity.
Sarah Sajedi
View Sarah Sajedi Profile
Sarah Sajedi
2021-04-29 11:17
Distinguished members of the House of Commons, thank you for inviting us to speak with you.
We would like to begin by acknowledging that ERA is located on unceded indigenous lands. Montreal is historically known as a gathering place for many first nations. Today it is home to a diverse population of indigenous and other peoples. We respect the continued connections with the past, present and future in our ongoing relationship with indigenous and other peoples within the Montreal community.
My name is Sarah Sajedi. I have my partner, Gary Vegh, with me. He's the senior environmental toxicologist and I am the chief technology officer. We both are chemists. We have been working for the past 26 years-plus in the area. ERA is a Montreal-based software developer which works closely with manufacturers to create solutions for their sustainable problems and minimize their emissions in waste and water, and any other environmentally related media.
ERA has worked for 26 years with industries, like wood cabinetry and furniture, automotive, chemicals and paints and the general manufacturing sector. We are global leaders in environmental health and safety software for the automotive industry. A vast majority of OEMs are currently using ERA software to track their environmental impacts.
I would like to use this opportunity to talk about waste minimization. ERA believes that waste minimization is one of the issues. That is our platform: greener industrial and consumer packaging, and how to minimize the waste we are creating and the global impacts it has on both our economy and future environmental sustainability.
I have some simple facts about waste. Canadians throw away three million tonnes of plastic waste, only 9% of which is recycled. This means the vast majority of plastic ends up in landfills. Approximately 80% of plastic waste that ends up in bodies of water comes from the land. As a result, there is a cost of clean up. Canada pays to ship 12% of its plastic to Southeast Asia, which has caused quite a bit of issues. Oceana Canada estimates that the cost of cleaning plastic from the Great Lakes is over $468 million. It's that much.
The Government of Canada has done studies that have shown that the cleaning of plastics and everything after the fact is costing over $7.8 billion in landfills and other areas. This is a very costly endeavour. We need to get ahead of this. How we get ahead of waste is by doing two different things. We need to take preventive and corrective measures.
Preventive measures promote green packaging. Some 60% to 70% of the waste that is created comes from packaging, whether it's industrial packaging or consumer packaging. We have gone overboard, above and beyond.
We need to help companies with a methodology to analyze the chemical composition of what they are putting in their packaging, because there is a lot of greenwashing going on of the physical properties. Subsidies should be provided for green packaging development.
On the other hand, corrective measures are needed to develop ways to handle the end use, as we do with water. Some 50 to 100 years ago, there were no municipal systems, but now, water is no longer an issue. We have to look at technology similar to that.
I thank you for giving us this opportunity. I look forward to our further discussions.
Lynne Manuel
View Lynne Manuel Profile
Lynne Manuel
2021-04-29 11:22
Good morning, Madam Chair, ladies and gentlemen.
We are pleased to appear before you on behalf of GreenCentre Canada. We're grateful for the opportunity to provide our perspectives on economic recovery for the clean-tech sector. We've had the pleasure of meeting several committee members. For those unfamiliar with GreenCentre, we're a unique, not-for-profit organization that provides specialized technical and commercial services to companies developing sustainable chemistry-based technologies.
GreenCentre's past clean-tech projects have benefited a range of Canadian industries, from forestry and agriculture to energy, automotive, consumer products and resource recovery.
GreenCentre is here to request the creation of a program directed specifically at the needs of early-stage clean-tech companies. Our experience proves that a single lab-scale validation project valued at $100,000 can unlock public and private investment of $1 million or more to finance the more costly stages of scale-up and demonstration. A program that funds such projects has the potential to maximize short-term impact and accelerate economic recovery with the added benefit of reducing long-term dependency on government grants and subsidies.
Established companies and innovators with proven technologies are eligible for generous support from FedDev, SDTC, SIF and the net zero accelerator. Private sector investors also provide financial support to scale up and commercialize new technologies after and only after they've been substantiated.
We're concerned that government programs overlook early-stage clean-tech companies needing assistance to reach the point where blended financing is possible. These companies are an important part of the pipeline for both federal programs and private investors, but they face significant barriers to accessing the talent and resources needed to help them qualify.
Earlier this year we discussed this gap with 28 MPs, parliamentary secretaries, committee members, ministry staff and a senator, who expressed unanimous support for our concept. We were pleased to see a recommendation supporting GreenCentre's initiative included in the report from the Standing Committee on Finance released in February.
COVID-19 has disproportionately affected early-stage clean-tech companies. Unlike larger businesses, they operate on a narrow margin of survival. They face delays due to facility closures and occupancy limits, being forced to shift cash earmarked for technology development to cover operating expenses. Hiring has been frozen. Personnel have been laid off. Discussions with partners, investors and customers have slowed or stopped altogether and are only now beginning to resume.
Further, many clean-tech companies are led by young entrepreneurs and recent graduates. They are energetic and resilient but they struggle to finance the validation of their technologies even without the challenges of the past year.
Young Canadians must be at the heart of our recovery not only to help them rebound today, but also to ensure their future success.
GreenCentre has an established track record of invigorating Canada's clean-tech ecosystem. Since 2014, we've leveraged government funding to assist over 100 Canadian start-ups and SMEs which have raised over $250 million and created hundreds of jobs. The impact is irrefutable. These companies have industrial partners and investors. Some have domestic and export sales. Others have support from SDTC and are well on their way to commercial operation.
Li-Cycle, a previous GreenCentre program participant, has made the global clean tech 100 list for two years and has commercial operations in Ontario and New York as well as a project planned in Arizona. They are only getting started.
The federal budget proposes to make $1 billion available over five years to attract private sector investment in large-scale clean-tech projects. A mechanism is needed to advance innovative companies to the point where they actually qualify for these programs. GreenCentre has demonstrated the expertise, resources and reach to accomplish this. A GreenCentre program of $50 million over five years would accelerate up to 150 early-stage clean-tech companies to the point where blended financing could work.
The future health of Canada's clean-tech sector depends upon the success of the innovators developing new products today. Accelerating the time to market is critical not only for their survival, but also to ensure Canada's success in meeting ambitious climate goals and becoming a leading global supplier of sustainable products and processes.
To become a clean-tech leader, Canada must do more to bridge the gap between the research and commercialization. Early-stage clean-tech companies now more than ever need access to expertise and resources to aid in their recovery. A program that meets these needs will attract private sector investment and help fuel the growth of Canadian companies, create jobs for highly skilled workers and bring sustainable environmental benefits to the world.
Madam Chair, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your attention. We look forward to your questions.
Heather Exner-Pirot
View Heather Exner-Pirot Profile
Heather Exner-Pirot
2021-04-29 11:27
Good morning. Thanks for the opportunity to speak with you today as you study our nation's economic recovery from COVID-19.
My name is Heather Exner-Pirot and I'm here in my capacity as a fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute. I have been studying northern and indigenous development for 15 years and lately have been working on a variety of pieces related to indigenous engagement in resource development.
I can certainly appreciate the desire and the imperative to move toward a greener economy, but I want to caution the government against limiting through your policies what kinds of energy systems northern and indigenous communities can engage in and what kinds of resources they can invest in. I do have some concerns that our policy choices are limiting the opportunities that indigenous peoples have access to. I will offer two examples.
The first is the Canada Infrastructure Bank. As you know, it has a fairly limited mandate. I think it's excellent that you have dedicated $1 billion for initiatives for indigenous communities. However, on the resource development side, it is restricted to clean power and green infrastructure. This is a concern because, by far, the best economic development opportunities for indigenous peoples in Canada have been in oil and gas and mining.
Indigenous businesses are 40 times more likely than the average Canadian business to operate in the extractive sector. Billions of dollars of contracts are awarded each year to indigenous businesses in the extractive industry. The oil and gas and mining sectors represent eight of the top 10 highest paying occupations for indigenous peoples in Canada, and oil and gas occupations pay indigenous employees about four times the average wage of all other sectors. That is consistent for indigenous women also, for whom oil and gas related occupations represent the top six highest paying occupations, with pipeline transportation being the highest.
I know there have been missed opportunities where first nations would have been able to become involved in projects as equity owners if they'd had better access to capital. These kinds of projects help them develop intergenerational wealth. I know there are many excellent indigenous solar, wind and biomass projects, but they do not generate the same scale of financial benefits as oil and gas and mining do in Canada.
The other example is in local energy development. I think community, indigenous and government stakeholders are all unanimous in wanting to transition remote communities off of diesel, but programs such as Northern REACHE, again, limit alternatives to solar, wind, biomass and hydro, and not fossil fuels such as natural gas.
In many cases, especially where hydro is not a viable option, switching from diesel to natural gas would save significant amounts of money, produce fewer greenhouse gas, particulate and nitrogen oxide air emissions, and would be quieter and more efficient to operate. In general, diesel generators can be converted to operate on natural gas fuels. Wind and solar are intermittent sources of energy and not stand-alone solutions for northern communities, but many government programs preclude that transition to natural gas because it is a fossil fuel.
My point here is to draw the committee's attention to some of the perhaps unintended consequences of green policies. It is good to incentivize and support communities that choose wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and hydro opportunities, but it should not constrain their ability to choose the best opportunity overall looking at a combination of social, economic and environmental factors.
I will conclude with this. The commodity cycle is turning. It looks like there are some good years ahead for oil and gas and mineral projects if Canada can start to attract more investment. It will be critical for economic recovery from COVID, especially in rural and remote areas.
Indigenous peoples have been historically left out of the benefits of Canada's resource development. Only in the past three or four years have we really seen that evolution toward indigenous equity ownership in major projects and that is a very positive move. But, if they are only supported in the ownership of smaller green projects, they will again miss out on a generational opportunity to build community prosperity and generate own-source revenues. I am concerned that this is neither ethical nor fair, so I would urge the committee to advocate for policies that maximize indigenous peoples' ability to make their own choices about what kinds of energy and resource projects to support.
Thank you.
Benoit La Salle
View Benoit La Salle Profile
Benoit La Salle
2021-04-29 11:31
Thank you, Madam Chair.
My thanks to all committee members for inviting me to appear.
I'm going to take a very practical approach to the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. We've seen what Mr. Biden has proposed and we're seeing what Europe is proposing. Never in our history have we seen so many billions of dollars being spent on green economic recovery, and it all depends on critical minerals. We see what the Americans and the Chinese are doing. I feel that, in Canada, we don't fully understand the situation.
I've been a mining operator and mine owner around the world for 25 years. I am in the process of trying to buy a lithium mine in Quebec. People don't realize today that the green economic recovery depends on critical minerals. We hear a lot of talk about Lion Electric, which is going to open a bus factory in Quebec. That's very exciting. Tesla is also opening factories in the automotive sector around the world.
However, did you know that today in the mining sector, 0% of graphite is made in Europe or the United States and 56% of graphite is made in China?
Every battery has two components, the anode and the cathode. Anodes are 100% produced in China right now, and 82% of cathode production takes place in China. If the Chinese stopped exporting anodes today, Tesla would close its factories around the world. The anode is graphite. So we need to have control over our natural resources.
I own nickel, copper, cobalt and graphite mines, and I am trying to buy a lithium mine. Do you know who our customers are? They are all Chinese. Now China has made it clear that they don't want to export raw materials anymore, not even anodes and cathodes, and they want to sell us cars or batteries instead.
The green industrial revolution hinges on the battery in the solar energy sector. When you have good sunlight, solar panels and solar power plants are cheaper than hydroelectricity and all the other energy sources. That is all about batteries. So everything related to batteries is very important. I'll take this opportunity to tell you that intellectual property and critical minerals need to be managed very tightly and not openly.
Next week, a huge lithium deal is going to be announced. Who is the buyer? It's a Chinese company. In Quebec, there have been two transactions in the last few years: the one involving Nemaska Lithium, in the lithium industry, and the one involving Nouveau Monde Graphite, in the graphite industry. Who are the owners? Europeans.
It's like vaccines: when we really need them, you're going to see that we won't have them anymore. That's what is going to happen. Two hundred and forty battery plants are being built in the world right now. Canada has none. That's incredible. In 10 years, 70% of the battery plants will be in China, 12% will be in Europe, 8% will be in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world, and we will have nothing.
We can't let our critical minerals go. In fact, the Government of Canada has put together a very good document on the subject. It says clearly that ownership of critical minerals is very important, because otherwise we are going to be in a situation of total dependence, much like we would have been with oil. Our situation today is actually similar to the one in 1908 or 1910, when oil was becoming the primary resource in the world. Energy storage is the new oil. Everyone says so, including the Goldman Sachs Group. We need to manage this. It's very important.
We have very few mines. A mine like the one I'm trying to buy in Quebec is going to produce 25,000 tons of lithium a year. A single battery plant needs 25,000 tons of lithium, 19,000 tons of nickel, 33,000 tons of graphite and 6,000 tons of cobalt, and 240 plants are being built around the world.
So as you can see, it's inconceivable that we would let our natural resources go, if we want to avoid being 100% dependent on other countries for our “oil 2.0”, or energy storage. The Government of Canada must act quickly on this, because we have let some projects go in Quebec and, in my opinion, that's unacceptable.
Thank you for your attention.
View Earl Dreeshen Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
It was indeed a pleasure to hear from Dr. Exner-Pirot and Mr. La Salle. These are some of the things that I have been trying to say for years. We have to understand that if we're not paying attention to these sectors of our society, then we are losing out in so many different ways.
We are talking today about opportunities and barriers. I first want to talk to Mr. Nighbor from the Forest Products Association of Canada. The U.S.-based Natural Resources Defense Council has continuously campaigned against your industry. As a matter of fact, and you mentioned this, the NRDC recently sponsored legislation in the California and New York legislatures to get those states to stop sourcing from the boreal forests in Canada, Sweden and Finland. Ironically, these are three of the world's leaders in sustainable forest management, human and labour rights, and providing well-paying, family-supporting jobs in forestry, especially here in Canada for our first nations people.
This parallels the foreign-funded organization's misinformation campaigns that have attacked our energy sector, one of the world's leading and most environmentally friendly oil and gas providers, which, like your industry, hires so many first nations people.
I would first like to ask how we can best counter these attacks. We have them within our own nation as well. What do you think would be the impact of the NRDC's action on the sustainability of the world's forest products sector?
Derek Nighbor
View Derek Nighbor Profile
Derek Nighbor
2021-04-29 11:38
Thanks for the question.
Let me talk about just how we work. Our work is based on local community input and is science-based. We are over 90% on public lands under the purview of provincial governments. When I talk about environmental groups or activists, I'm very careful because I think we should all be activists—
Derek Nighbor
View Derek Nighbor Profile
Derek Nighbor
2021-04-29 11:38
—in all aspects of our lives. We don't always agree with groups like WWF Canada, the Nature Conservancy of Canada and Ducks Unlimited Canada, but we work with them. The difference between those groups and NRDC is that those groups invest in Canada. They have Canadian offices. They're doing work on the ground in wetlands and grasslands and in the boreal. NRDC is not. It's a fundraising machine and—
Derek Nighbor
View Derek Nighbor Profile
Derek Nighbor
2021-04-29 11:39
I might just quickly say that the two bills, in Albany, New York, and in Sacramento, are almost identical. In our conversations with the Democratic legislators who sponsored them, they needed to bring NRDC in to brief us on what the bills were about.
View Earl Dreeshen Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you very much. I appreciate that. I need to move on, but thank you for that.
This is one of the key things that I have asked all along, especially with our mining industry, the many great indigenous people who are working there and the companies that are simply looking for opportunities. If we allow groups to come in and do to our forestry industry or our oil and gas industry what they have done in the past, what makes us think they're not going to do exactly the same thing to our mining industry?
We're talking about the opportunities that we have. I can just imagine. Where there are investments in other places in the world, those same groups are going to be pushing against us as well. We've seen that already. Try to get a pipeline across this country.
Mr. La Salle, could you comment on that, please?
Benoit La Salle
View Benoit La Salle Profile
Benoit La Salle
2021-04-29 11:40
You're absolutely right. This is why the new mining 2.0 is extremely inclusive. I've built mines in Africa; we've built mines all over the world, and now the social licence is very important. Though miners had a bad reputation for many years, we've changed considerably. The Canadian government is there with us, and all over the world, to make sure that we follow all the guidelines, and we do.
You're right, but I think it can be a win-win situation. I have a mining company in Africa. We have 5,000 employees working for us and we have about one million people benefiting from those mines with programs. You're absolutely right. To have a win-win situation in Canada, we need to do the same thing with the local population. We need that.
You don't get that if you sell to other nations that don't have the same values. Canadian miners have the best values around the world. I am one of them, I've mined all over the world and we have the best values. We should just do exactly the same thing in Canada.
View Earl Dreeshen Profile
CPC (AB)
I agree. I would submit that we also have that in our oil and gas industry. I challenge anybody who ever wants to complain about our oil and gas industry, especially Fort McMurray, to go up there and take a look at what reclamation is all about. It's not like dumping sewage into the St. Lawrence.
In the little bit of time that I have left, Dr. Exner-Pirot, you talked about government policies and capital fleeing with opportunities for our indigenous people to get working. I'm wondering if you could quickly comment on that.
Heather Exner-Pirot
View Heather Exner-Pirot Profile
Heather Exner-Pirot
2021-04-29 11:42
I'll be very brief. I see the time's almost up.
In our country, I think we saw in the Financial Post, we have lost $150 billion in energy projects in the past few years. On average, in the oil and gas industry, they're procuring 7% of their goods from indigenous suppliers. If you do the math, 7% of $150 billion is a ton of opportunity lost for indigenous communities. I would hope that we can turn that around and start to build that wealth in those communities.
View Helena Jaczek Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
Thank you to all our witnesses. You've brought an absolute wealth of expertise to your testimony today.
I would like to start with Ms. Bak.
Ms. Bak, in my riding of Markham—Stouffville there are so many small and medium-sized enterprises that want to do their bit in terms of reducing their carbon footprints. We heard earlier this week from Green Economy Canada that they're finding it particularly difficult to navigate the various opportunities, and as a non-profit, it is assisting those small and medium-sized enterprises.
You made reference to something in the EU where, as part of a project application, as I understood you to say, larger companies need to engage with SMEs as they put their projects forward. Could you expand on how that's working in the EU so that we might have some lessons here for us?
Céline Bak
View Céline Bak Profile
Céline Bak
2021-04-29 11:44
The EU has a very concerted strategy to enable SMEs to become a more significant part of its economy. It's not a surprise, therefore, that when the EU decides to deploy over $700 billion in capital over three years, it includes a requirement for all public stimulus of private sector investment.... It requires large project proponents to include SMEs in their project proposals.
This is part of a multipronged strategy. I can tell you, for example, that there is an EU program under way in Canada that is enabling EU scale-ups to understand how to export to Canada. There are people at the EU delegation who have a responsibility now, a project under way, where they are enabling EU SMEs to meet with large Canadian companies—Maple Leaf Foods is an example—to solve their problems with new innovations coming from the EU. The committee might find it interesting to consider this very systematic approach.
I have, in the past, requested reports from Statistics Canada on exports from Canada by SMEs, and those reports are no longer annual. We don't know the relevance of SMEs to Canada's exports. At one point, it was 25% of the value of all exports—so, equal to that of the mining industry. They're very, very significant to Canada's economy. However, we don't know what it is now because we no longer keep track of it.
View Helena Jaczek Profile
Lib. (ON)
Your recommendation, obviously, would be that we should be keeping track of that kind of information.
Céline Bak
View Céline Bak Profile
Céline Bak
2021-04-29 11:46
This committee could request it and require a report, yes.
View Helena Jaczek Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you so much.
Ms. Sajedi, you ran out of time, and we were getting to some really interesting areas that you were talking about in terms of plastic waste and, obviously, the minimization of such waste. You were able to address some of the preventive strategies, but you also wanted to talk about corrective activities.
Could you perhaps expand on that area?
Sarah Sajedi
View Sarah Sajedi Profile
Sarah Sajedi
2021-04-29 11:47
Thank you so much for looping me back in. I highly appreciate that.
Corrective measures are governmental intervention and help to create a sustainable, systematic process of recovery and reuse for recycling waste. We have done that in municipal water treatment and it has been extremely successful, but for some reason, for waste management it seems that it is very sporadic and there is no hard level like the rules and regulations that water has.
We have a really good method that we can follow because waste-water treatment and sewer systems have been extremely successful in cleaning our waters and making sure that our water quality is good. There have been many hundreds of chemists and environmentalists on this. Many methods have been developed to treat waste and reuse it, but it is not organized, and it's not government mandated. I believe that the government's mandating of this will help to organize it and give it structure, which it needs in order for it not to be the way it is currently.
Finally, on reuse of the materials by end-users—such as asphalt, cement and roof shingles—by companies that use the raw materials that are not so clean, the level of treatment that you have to do in order to make the waste reusable for clothing or bottles is much different than it is when you have to use it in cement or asphalt. Given that, intervention and giving them some sort of incentives would make it easier.
Thank you so much for the time you've given me.
View Helena Jaczek Profile
Lib. (ON)
We just have a few seconds left. As you know, of course, waste-water treatment is a municipal responsibility in Ontario, Canada. Are you suggesting that there be a greater role at the federal level?
Sarah Sajedi
View Sarah Sajedi Profile
Sarah Sajedi
2021-04-29 11:49
Federal and municipal: I think the federal level has to come with the rules and the possibilities for how to approach it, but it eventually goes to the municipal level.
View Sébastien Lemire Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Mr. La Salle, thank you for making us aware of the importance of critical, or strategic, minerals and intellectual property. In fact, I would like us to continue with that topic, because ownership is going to include not only intellectual property, but also the deposits, the processors, and the entire supply chain.
Why do you feel that owning our strategic minerals is key?
Benoit La Salle
View Benoit La Salle Profile
Benoit La Salle
2021-04-29 11:50
We need to grasp the opportunity. A huge shift is coming in the green industry.
Canada is a nickel producer. As you know, Sudbury was the largest nickel-producing area in the world and it was all sold to the Australians and the Brazilians. Now we're seeing a second boom and a shift to solar power, to 5G technology and to electric cars and buses. All those technologies will depend on critical metals. We must own them. Otherwise, we will not be part of the 2.0 economic revolution. First came the oil boom of 1910, and now we're seeing the green oil boom of 2020. We can't let this opportunity pass us by, because the minerals belong to us. They are ours, and we need to keep them, not sell them.
Whether they are from Australia or from somewhere else, buyers have a strategy based on their needs, their economy, and what they are going to produce in their country. The only way to be involved and get in on this 2.0 boom of the green economy is to be an owner. Otherwise, it will not happen. We will end up selling minerals like they were trees, and we will see our resources processed in the same way: they will be made into boards in the U.S. and sold back to Canada. I don't want to say that is what's happening, and I certainly don't want to speak for my colleagues in the forestry sector.
However, nowadays you cannot sell lithium, nickel or cobalt, have it processed somewhere else and buy it back. That makes no sense anymore, especially since the best minds are in Quebec. You know, the mining world is scouting for Quebec, Ontario and Canadian minds, because that's where the most qualified people are. Are we going to go work around the world and let others come into our home? That would make no sense. But that's what is happening right now. The Chinese, the Australians, the Brazilians and the Turks are buying up natural resources around the globe, and we're not reacting.
I'm pleased to have been invited to appear today to highlight this issue. A very big shift is happening. We need action from the government and the community. That action absolutely requires those who manage and control things to live here in Canada, not abroad.
View Sébastien Lemire Profile
BQ (QC)
We remember the infamous penny a ton price on the North Shore.
What advantage do Quebec and Canada have over the rest of the world in the strategic minerals sector? Can you tell us more about it?
Benoit La Salle
View Benoit La Salle Profile
Benoit La Salle
2021-04-29 11:53
First of all, we have these minerals. That's better than the United States. The North American Lithium Mine, which is up for sale right now, has drawn interest from two U.S. groups, one of which is funded by U.S. defence. Why are they interested? The Americans need both lithium and graphite for weaponry, and they don't have any in their country.
Owning assets is important. We are lucky, we have the resources. We have them in Ontario and Quebec and in a few spots in the Maritimes. We have graphite and cobalt, among others. We have them, so let's keep them. We have what it takes to do the first two levels of processing and we're smart enough to do it. This is not the 1910s, this is the 2020s. We have universities, scientists and everything we need. They are going to be developed elsewhere. So why not develop them here? We just need to get support.
We're bidding today to acquire the lithium mine and we're competing with the Chinese, the Australians and the Americans. They're extremely aggressive when they come in to get resources. However, again, if we let it all go, we are going to be buying electric cars from China, and phones from Korea, and we'll have to find something else to do.
View Sébastien Lemire Profile
BQ (QC)
I am the member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue, where the mining sector represents a very big part of the region's economy. Can I hope that developing the mining of strategic minerals, such as lithium, will create jobs locally, especially in secondary and tertiary processing—that is the key sector—and leave the smallest possible carbon footprint?
Since sustainability is now part of the vocabulary in the mining industry, can we expect that in the lithium business?
Benoit La Salle
View Benoit La Salle Profile
Benoit La Salle
2021-04-29 11:54
Absolutely. it's part of our vocabulary and our values. Everything will depend on the new owner. It will be a matter of setting out guidelines and saying what we want. The offer we've made for the lithium mine includes all stages of processing, right down to the product that will be used to make batteries.
People who come here should be absolutely required to do the processing on site and make anodes, cathodes, and battery components. One day, we may have a battery assembly plant, like Tesla, which has factories all over the world to assemble its batteries. Tesla doesn't make batteries, it assembles batteries to put in its cars.
We have to be in the supply chain, which is a very strategic sector, and we can't divest ourselves of our unprocessed natural resources for the next 100 years. That would be a real scandal. All electrification will happen in the next 100 years. Think solar panels, electric cars, electric trains and trucks. We have what it takes to be in that chain.
View Brian Masse Profile
NDP (ON)
View Brian Masse Profile
2021-04-29 11:56
Thank you, Madam Chair, and thank you to our witnesses today.
I'm going to the Forest Products Association and Mr. Nighbor.
When I first got elected, I accompanied Pierre Pettigrew, the then minister of industry, to Washington, D.C., back in 2002, on a specific lobby effort for softwood lumber. We had the embassy involved and had hundreds of different Canadian organizations and companies to promote it. We brought in lobbyist support to get the Congress and Senate to show up, and we worked the room and did all those different things.
Sadly, fast forward to today, and we still have a lot of the systemic issues with regard to our trade with the United States. I'm also even more worried with buy America and buy American—there are two elements there—and, potentially, further consequences. Can you give us some thoughts about that situation? It has been a real hard nut to crack.
Results: 1 - 30 of 48268 | Page: 1 of 1609

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>|
Show both languages
Refine Your Search
Export As: XML CSV RSS

For more data options, please see Open Data