Regional Tables Launched to Collaboratively Drive Economic Opportunities in a Prosperous Net-Zero Future
June 1, 2022 Vancouver, British Columbia Natural Resources Canada
Canada holds the resources, clean technology and experience to thrive in the global net-zero economy, creating prosperity and high-quality jobs for generations to come.
Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, formally launched the first phase of the Regional Energy and Resource Tables as part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to work with provinces, territories and other partners to take advantage of the unprecedented economic opportunities presented by a low-carbon future.
The Regional Tables initiative is a partnership between the federal and provincial and territorial governments that will support strong communities and job creation in every region of Canada.
At the federal level, it is a whole-of-government initiative led by Natural Resources Canada, involving multiple federal institutions, including the Regional Development Agencies and the Canada Infrastructure Bank. The Regional Tables are collaborative fora that will bring the federal, provincial and territorial governments together with Indigenous partners, municipalities, industry, workers, unions and experts to advance the top economic priorities in the natural resources space in every region of Canada through the development of place-based economic strategies. The Regional Tables will gather input from relevant partners and seek to align resources, timelines and regulatory approaches to capitalize on key regional opportunities and priorities.
The Regional Tables approach recognizes that each region has a unique mix of its own natural resources, energy and electricity systems, and clean technology strengths. As a result, the economic opportunities available to each province and territory — and the approaches they will take in building strong economies — will differ across the country. Each region is in a unique position to meet emerging domestic and global demand by taking advantage of new markets emerging from the low-carbon transition while creating sustainable jobs and reducing greenhouse gas pollution.
In addition to addressing key economic opportunities associated with a low-carbon transition, the Regional Tables will provide a forum to discuss how we can work together to ensure that electrical generation capacity and our provincial and regional electrical grids will be capable of meeting the requirements of decarbonization and of increased demand associated with broad electrification.
The initial phase of engagement, announced today in an address at the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, begins with British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Manitoba and will focus on ensuring they are prepared to seize the economic opportunities enabled by the global move towards a low-carbon future. In the coming days, working-level discussions will be convened by the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan, as well as Canada and Alberta, to establish shared priorities that will be included in a future phase of the Regional Tables. Tables will subsequently be established in all provinces and territories across Canada.
Across Canada, regional growth opportunities are likely to come from new products and processes that enable a low-carbon future — such as critical minerals, clean hydrogen, small modular reactors, carbon capture and removal, renewable energy, biofuels, zero-emission cars, battery technology and other clean technologies. Other opportunities will come through increased demand for traditional goods produced in an ultra low carbon manner — such as low-carbon steel and aluminum.
This initiative will highlight how Canada can and will seize the economic opportunities enabled by a low-carbon future to build a prosperous and dynamic future for Canadians in all regions of the country.
“Just as any successful business must be capable of interpreting and reacting to changes in the business environment, countries must also be capable of thoughtful response and action to sustain and enhance their level of prosperity. This Initiative will enable provinces, territories, the federal government and key Indigenous partners to collectively accelerate economic activity and position Canada as an economic leader in the global shift towards a low-carbon future.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Natural Resources, Government of Canada
“With an abundance of renewable energy resources, Newfoundland and Labrador is well positioned to meet our net-zero commitments and transition to a low-carbon economy. We recognize the significant opportunities renewable energy presents in terms of economic development and environmental progress and look forward to working collaboratively with the Federal Government, Indigenous groups and other partners for this initiative.”
The Honourable Andrew Parsons
Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
“In light of the global energy crisis and the ongoing war in Ukraine, it is imperative that we all move to a low-carbon economy. It is going to take larger coordination, cooperation and encouragement between governments and regions. We look forward to working with federal, provincial and local governments through the Regional Energy and Resource Tables to help advance the top economic priorities of the natural resources sector while protecting our shared natural environment.”
The Honourable Bruce Ralston
Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Government of British Columbia
“Manitoba is proud to be on the forefront of clean, renewable energy through Manitoba Hydro. We are fully committed to pursue other opportunities to grow our renewable energy sector, which will lead to additional economic growth and more high-quality jobs in Manitoba. We look forward to working collaboratively with all levels of government, Indigenous groups and partners through the Regional Energy and Resource Tables to protect our environment while continuing to advance the natural resource sectors with a low-carbon footprint.”
The Honourable Scott Fielding
Minister of Natural Resources and Northern Development, Government of Manitoba
Budget 2022 included $25 million to launch the Regional Energy and Resource Tables to work with provinces, territories, Indigenous partners and relevant stakeholders to advance regional economic growth opportunities, accelerate energy transformation priorities and create sustainable jobs. This initiative was referred to as Regional Strategic Initiatives in the Budget.
The Regional Energy and Resource Tables will build on work done by the Industry Strategy Council, which brings together business leaders to offer experienced perspectives from key sectors of our economy and to engage with a diverse set of businesses and stakeholders from coast to coast to coast, including labour and Indigenous Peoples. In their report "Restart, recover, and reimagine prosperity for all Canadians” released in 2020, the Council provided recommendations to:
support all natural resource sectors in becoming global ESG suppliers and product innovators;
leverage clean technology strengths to accelerate exports and domestic adoption and decarbonize key industrial sectors; and
incentivize all sectors to meet Paris commitments with a cost- and time-optimal decarbonization pathway.
In the coming months, the Government of Canada will announce the details of the Pan-Canadian Grid Council, a technical advisory group with a mandate of removing barriers to providing clean electricity to every region of Canada by 2035. The Council will feed into the Regional Tables process.
On March 29, 2022, the Government of Canada tabled its 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Canada’s Next Steps for Clean Air and a Strong Economy, a detailed plan that lays out an achievable sector-by-sector path toward Canada’s emissions reduction target of 40–45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050.
Natural Resources Canada
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources
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