Remarks by the Deputy Prime Minister in Quebec City on growing the clean economy
Quebec, QC - June 29, 2023
I would like to start by saying that my thoughts are with everyone impacted by the ongoing wildfires here in Quebec, and I want to thank the first responders who are working hard to keep everyone safe. Our government stands ready to provide any federal support and assistance needed.
I want to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional territories of several First Nations, including the Huron-Wendat Nation.
And I am so glad to be back with the incredible people of Previan / Eddyfi Technologies. When I last visited you in 2018, we were in the midst of the NAFTA negotiations.
And here we are now, on the other side, in your really beautiful new headquarters—and I am so proud to see how much you have grown and achieved over the years.
And this is very good timing, because the innovative work you are doing here will be more important than ever for Quebec, for Canada, and for the whole world.
Before I speak more about that critical work, I want to highlight a few important points about where the Canadian economy is today.
Inflation in Canada fell to 3.4 per cent in May—down from 4.4 per cent in April, and from a high of 8.1 per cent last June.
Our plan is one of fiscal responsibility—and it is working.
Inflation in Canada is lower than in the United States at 4 per cent, lower than France at 5.1 per cent, lower than Germany at 6.1 per cent, lower than Italy at 7.6 per cent, and lower than the United Kingdom at 8.7 per cent.
Among G7 countries, inflation is lower only in Japan—where deflation has been the primary challenge over the past few decades. And in Japan, inflation in May was at 3.2 per cent—a mere 0.2 per cent lower than in Canada.
We are not there yet, but at 3.4 per cent, we are close to the Bank of Canada’s target range.
This is all great news for Canada.
Canada had the strongest economic growth in the G7 over the course of 2022, and Canada’s real GDP expanded by 3.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2023.
Nearly 900,000 more Canadians are working today than when COVID first hit, and we have now recovered 128 per cent of the jobs that were lost in the first months of the pandemic—compared to just 117 per cent in the United States.
But today, Canada must also respond to two fundamental shifts in the global economy: the race to build the clean economies of the 21st century, and our allies’ accelerating efforts to friendshore their economies by building their critical supply chains through democracies like our own.
Canada needs to keep up. And not only that—we need to lead.
That is why our spring budget made the most significant investments in Canadian history to build our clean economy—and thus, also the most significant investments we have ever made in climate action.
We are going to make Canada the very best place in the world for companies like Previan to invest, because that means more vibrant, prosperous communities, and more good careers for Canadians.
We are going to build a clean electrical grid that connects Canadians from coast to coast to coast, protects our environment, and delivers cleaner, more affordable electricity to Canadians and Canadian businesses.
And that is where companies like Eddyfi come in.
Because technologies like non-destructive testing will play an important role in our clean economy.
We will need your technology—and your brilliant, talented workers—to ensure the security, stability, and sustainability of the clean energy infrastructure we rely on: from EV battery plants, to wind turbines, to clean power plants.
You are doing really big things here.
You have grown from humble beginnings here in Quebec to dozens of international offices, providing thousands of great jobs, and delivering important technology that the world relies on.
The work you are doing here is a real Canadian success story—a real Quebec success story—and it’s something that all Canadians should be really, really proud is happening here in Quebec City.
We want to do great things in Canada—build big things and create great jobs—because that is what enables Canadians to lead great lives, to build families, to have great, livable communities.
I’ve seen many photos of the children of the workers who are here, and it gives me really great pleasure to speak with the people who work here—but also to see the eyes of the families that have been created by the work here.
I have never been more optimistic about the future of Quebec and our wonderful country than I am today.
And that really is thanks to the hard work of the great Canadians like the ones I met today.
I found this visit really inspiring—so thank you to all who are here. Thank you, Martin. Thank you to the whole team.
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