Remarks by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance on supporting clean energy projects and good jobs in Alberta 

Speech

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Edmonton, AB - August 25, 2022

Thank you very much. It’s so inspiring for me to be with people who take such an obvious pride in the work they’re doing. And I just want to say that pride is infectious. I’m proud of the work you do here at Air Products, and I think everyone in Canada should be.

And I first want to acknowledge that the land we are gathered on is Treaty 6 Territory and the homeland of the Métis.

I am so glad to be here in Edmonton today with the incredible workers of Air Products.

The work being done here is exactly what Canada is relying on to grow our economy and supply the energy that we—and our allies—will need for years and generations to come.     

This is a company that has been around for more than 80 years, developing and operating some of the world’s largest industrial gas projects. And as the global economy moves towards clean, low-carbon energy sources, the expertise people have here is going to be even more valuable than ever before.

Hydrogen is used mainly in industrial processes today, but we know that it can fuel heavy-duty vehicles like buses, trucks, and trains. Maybe farm machinery, too. Hydrogen can be used in our cars and our homes.

That work is being done right now at Air Products—right here just outside Edmonton by some of the amazing people I’ve met today.

And that’s why our government was so proud last year to work with Air Products and the Province of Alberta to support a $1.3 billion investment in a new net-zero hydrogen complex in Edmonton.

The facility will be operational by 2024, and it’s going to help make Edmonton the centre of western Canada’s hydrogen economy—something that will mean more investment and more good-paying, middle class jobs for people here in Alberta.

Now, Canada is a trading nation, and our trading partners have decided that their economies are going green. What we are seeing in the world today is the biggest economic transformation since the Industrial Revolution.

This can be—and it will be—an incredible opportunity for Alberta. 

Because Canada, very much including Alberta, has the resources, the people, and the expertise that we need to be a reliable supplier of energy in a net-zero world.

That is why our government is working hard to ensure that our energy industry—both here in Alberta and across the country—can continue to grow and continue to be a source of great paying, really satisfying jobs.

So what does that look like?

Earlier this week, our government signed the Canada-Germany Hydrogen Alliance—one that will see Canada export hydrogen to Germany as Germany moves away from their dependence on Russian fossil fuels in the wake of Putin’s barbaric and illegal invasion of Ukraine.

German companies are already signing deals to buy made-in-Canada hydrogen. Those deals will create jobs and help our economy grow here at home, and they’re going to help one of our closest allies reduce their emissions at the same time.

When we met with the German delegation, we also talked about Germany’s energy needs and the opportunities for Canada to export LNG—whether it’s exploring LNG projects off the east coast, or getting even larger projects built off the west coast, like the LNG Canada project in Kitimat, B.C.

Our government understands the economic and geopolitical importance of LNG and natural gas in the world today. And for a lot of the industries that are already such important contributors to the Canadian economy, we need to help them reduce their emissions so they can remain competitive and keep employing hard-working Canadians across the country.

That’s why, for example, in our spring budget we leaned in on our refundable tax credit for businesses that invest in carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS)—something that is going to help the amazing innovators at Air Products that I met today.

CCUS is going to be important for the oil and gas industry, and it’s going to be important for industries like cement and steel production that need to reduce their emissions.

Right now, there are companies that are pulling carbon out of the air and injecting it into concrete. This may sound futuristic but it’s happening here in Alberta. And at the same time it’s creating jobs.

Of course, the green transition is a moral imperative, but for us it’s also an economic necessity. This is where the global economy is going and we can’t be left behind.

I am really happy to be in Alberta today.

I am really proud to have been born and raised here. And I really want Alberta to be at the heart of a strong, growing, and clean energy economy—one that powers Canada and the world, and one that allows people to continue to roll up their sleeves and earn a decent living for an honest day’s work.

The workers in the energy sector here in Alberta are some of the most experienced, talented, and resourceful in the world. Our economy depends on them, and our economy will continue to depend on them for generations to come.

And I want the workers here—and across the province—to know that they have my commitment that our government will continue to be here as a partner for workers and businesses across Alberta.

Thank you very much.

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