Introducing Canada’s Critical Minerals Strategy
Canada’s Critical Minerals Strategy will increase the supply of responsibly sourced critical minerals and support the development of domestic and global value chains for the green and digital economy. The Strategy’s five core objectives are:
- Support economic growth, competitiveness and job creation
- Promote climate action and environmental protection
- Advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples
- Foster diverse and inclusive workplaces and communities
- Enhance global security and partnerships with allies
Critical minerals represent a generational opportunity for Canada’s workers, economy and net-zero future. They are the foundation on which modern technology is built. From electric vehicles to semiconductors and wind turbines to batteries, the world needs critical minerals to build these products.
The consultation process
The Critical Minerals Centre of Excellence (CMCE) received more than 120 submissions from a variety of stakeholders and partners as part of its consultation on the Critical Minerals Strategy Discussion Paper. Comments received included insights from provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous peoples, industry, environmental organizations, academia and the public. The federal government’s objective to grow Canada’s supply of critical minerals, including building pan-Canadian expertise and capacity at each stage of the value chain, was met with broad support.
Through submissions and initial discussions with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples on the Critical Minerals Strategy, we have heard that there is a strong interest in continued engagement on the implementation of the Strategy and direct, distinctions-based funding to do so. We have also heard about the importance of respecting inherent and treaty rights; and supporting Indigenous-led environmental stewardship activities and Indigenous-led economic activities in critical minerals value chains, including procurement and equity ownership. Further, we have heard that free, prior and informed consent for critical minerals projects is essential and that implementation in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act must be foundational to all critical minerals development in Canada.
Partners and stakeholders spoke to Canada’s need for enhanced geoscience, including geological mapping, which would assist in efforts to better identify and assess critical minerals deposits. They also noted improved coordination and cooperation are needed, particularly as they relate to Canada’s regulatory environment. Environmental sustainability, with an emphasis on recycling and the circular economy, was also raised as part of the public consultation and related submissions noted the need for Canada to balance its economic efforts with its environmental considerations. Submissions further discussed the unique challenges faced by the critical minerals sector in the North, including infrastructure gaps. The mining sector’s labour needs, including challenges finding skilled labour, were also raised, with some stakeholders noting that improving mineral literacy in Canada should be considered.
Submissions have been archived by the CMCE for reference in future Centre engagements and initiatives. The CMCE would like to thank all partners and stakeholders for taking the time to participate in this consultation process. Your insights were invaluable.
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