Remarks by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance on critical minerals and creating good-paying careers in Saskatchewan


July 11, 2023

Thank you very much, and I first want to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional lands of the Treaty 4 territory.

I am so glad to be here at Belle Plaine with some of the really incredible workers from Mosaic.

I visited the Mosaic site at Colonsay last summer—and I first just want to start by saying how grateful I am for the hard work every single person here does every day.

You guys are feeding the world.

Canada produces more than 31 per cent of the world’s potash—and we account for 38 per cent of global potash exports.

The work that you are doing here—and the work being done at potash sites throughout Saskatchewan—is absolutely essential to farmers around the world.

That means there are millions and millions and millions of people around the world who depend on you to produce the potash that farmers need to grow the food that feeds others. It’s a really important job.

And today is a time when Canadian potash is even more important than ever.

Canada is the largest global producer and exporter of potash, but Russia and Belarus are second and third.

Canada and our democratic allies have taken steps to cut Russia and Belarus out of the global economy following Vladimir Putin’s illegal and barbaric full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

But the world’s farmers still need potash, and Canadian producers—Saskatchewan producers—people who work right here, are and have been delivering.

Canada’s potash production capacity increased by 11 per cent last year—which is really, really important for our allies, and really important for the people of Ukraine. By increasing that production, we made it possible for the world to maintain our support for Ukraine. I’m really grateful for that.

And you are also providing great careers here in Saskatchewan, and providing farmers with the potash they need.

So thank you very much to everyone here at Belle Plaine—and potash producers across this great province—for stepping up and being the reliable suppliers that the world’s democracies—and our friends in Ukraine—really need right now.

This shift of essential supply chains away from dictatorships like Russia and towards democracies like Canada is not limited to potash—it is happening across the entire economy.

And it comes at a time when the world’s democracies are also racing to build the global clean economy in what is the most significant economic transformation since the Industrial Revolution itself.

With these two shifts taken together, I believe that the next few years represent an historic opportunity for Canada—and a remarkable opportunity for workers and businesses in Saskatchewan.

One area, in particular, where Saskatchewan can lead—and this we actually discussed earlier this afternoon—is critical minerals.

The global clean economy will depend on critical minerals and metals—such as copper, uranium, lithium and helium—and Saskatchewan is richly endowed with 23 of the most in-demand critical minerals and metals.

That is why, last year, our government invested $3.8 billion to implement Canada’s first critical minerals strategy, and introduced a new 30 per cent Critical Mineral Exploration Tax Credit.

It is why, in our spring budget, we introduced a major investment tax credit for clean technology manufacturing—which will support the extraction, processing, and recycling of critical minerals and metals, and help position Saskatchewan as a reliable supplier of critical minerals and metals to the world.

We also introduced—and this is something we discussed just a minute ago—in our 2022 and 2023 budgets, a significant suite of tax credits for decarbonization. And I know that this is something people here at Mosaic are very, very focused on. I am really hopeful that some of those tax credits are going to help you guys.

And we are really focused on creating great, high-paying careers for people here in Saskatchewan, and bringing investment into communities right across the province.

All of this is happening at a time when I think we can be really optimistic about the Canadian economy.

Canada had the strongest economic growth in the G7 over the course of 2022, and our real GDP expanded by 3.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2023.

950,000 more Canadians are working today than when COVID first hit, and we have now recovered 130 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.

Inflation in Canada fell to 3.4 per cent in May—down from 4.4 per cent in April, and down from a high of 8.1 per cent last June.

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.

Our economic plan is fiscally responsible—and it is working.

Inflation in Canada is now the lowest it has been in nearly two years—and while we are not there yet, at 3.4 per cent, we are getting close to the Bank of Canada’s inflation target range.

I am incredibly optimistic about what the years to come will bring for Canada—and I am so excited to see the new opportunities that are on the horizon for people here in Saskatchewan.

I know how much places like Belle Plaine—and companies like Mosaic—mean to Saskatchewan. They are at the heart of communities, and they are a source of real opportunity for so many people—for so many families.

By investing in the resources and the workers that this province is so fortunate to have, we are going to ensure that Saskatchewan is leading the way as we continue to build a clean and thriving Canadian economy.

Thank you very much.

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