Thank you, Madam Chair.
My question will be for Mr. Daniel Breton.
Mr. Breton, what you have talked about, the national security issue, is so important. Unfortunately, many Canadians are still not aware of what is happening in the energy world.
When you talk about batteries, I'm sure you know and many others may know that it is not just limited to electric vehicles. You are also talking about batteries for energy storage, which greatly improves the viability of a lot of the renewable energy generation that you are talking about.
A trillion-dollar transportation segment is moving fast, but unfortunately, many Canadians are still not aware of what is happening there. I'm so glad that you are here talking about these things.
Canada and the U.S. recently agreed to strengthen the Canada-U.S. joint action plan on critical minerals collaboration, which you also mentioned. We have some of the rare minerals and other critical minerals for battery generation. This joint action plan is to target a net-zero industrial transformation, batteries for zero-emission vehicles and renewable energy storage.
We have agreed with the U.S., and many people, many Canadians, are not aware that in the recent budget we proposed a critical battery mineral centre of excellence at Natural Resources Canada. This would coordinate federal policies and programs on critical minerals and work with provinces, territories and other partners. That is also very important. In the recent budget, again, many Canadians are not aware that we have invested in federal research and development to advance critical battery mineral processing and refining expertise.
The U.S. has also only recently woken up to the fact that battery manufacturing is critical, whereas in the world, I think, as of today, some people think that the manufacturing capacity is still in China, with some technologies with some Japanese manufacturers and Korean manufacturers. If I'm not wrong, in the U.S. as of today, there are about five major battery manufacturing facilities with investments of over $2 billion each, so it is very critical and I'm glad that you're talking about it.
Can you let us know or can you re-emphasize what we need to do? I personally have been calling for a Canada-wide task force to make sure that we have a comprehensive strategy to develop minerals, to develop technologies and to develop a manufacturing industry in batteries.
Can you re-emphasize what it is we need to look at in the short, medium and long term on the issue of batteries development, which, as you rightly have pointed out several times, is a national security issue?