Canada has the minerals needed for EVs. How much bargaining power does that really give us? – by Alexander Panetta (CBC News World – November 26, 2021)

When discussing Canadian clout over critical minerals we’re talking potential, not reality

There’s this emerging notion of Canada as an impending superpower in mining the critical minerals that will run defining technologies of this century, from electric vehicles to smartphones and solar panels.

It was a recurring theme of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent Washington visit. It’s sometimes raised as a potential source of geopolitical power for Canada, say, against the United States in a trade spat.

We’ve even heard one attention-grabbing suggestion from union leader Jerry Dias: that Canada should cut the U.S. off from these minerals if it won’t cave in a dispute over electric vehicles. This conjures improbable images of Canada wielding some sort of modern-day version of Saudi Arabia’s notorious oil sword of the 1970s. Okay, now it’s time for a reality check.

Basic statistics offer something of a cold shower: Canada’s position is not remotely comparable to the Arab oil powerhouses of 1973. In fact, global surveys suggest Canada holds a tiny percentage of mineable worldwide reserves of critical minerals and is not only way behind world-dominating China but lots of other countries too.

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