OPINION: Ottawa’s quixotic jolt to our electric-battery industry is riskier than it’s letting on – by Andrew Coyne (Globe and Mail – October 7, 2020)


Perhaps the giddiest part of a Throne Speech that seemed at several points to be high on intoxicants was that bit about how Canada was poised to become a world leader in the production of electric batteries, on the unassailable grounds that “Canada has the resources” from which electric batteries are made.

It’s a theme the government, and particularly Industry Minister Navdeep Bains, has been pushing with some regularity. Canada is “rich in key ingredients like lithium, graphite, nickel, cobalt and aluminum,” he told the Toronto Star’s Tonda MacCharles in a prespeech interview.

All these resources lying about, just waiting to be converted into world-leading electric batteries – it’s a wonder no one’s thought of this before.

After all, the metals have been in the ground since the Earth was young. Electric batteries, for their part, have been around for nearly 200 years. Yet somehow, it never occurred to anyone to make batteries in Canada – Land of Lithium! Colossus of Cobalt! – until now.

Could it be that decisions on where to locate complex manufacturing processes are based on more than just “where the stuff is in the ground”?

For the rest of this column: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-ottawas-quixotic-jolt-to-our-electric-battery-industry-is-riskier/

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