It is, on the face of it, an attractive proposition. Canada becomes a global powerhouse in the production of the critical minerals used in electric vehicles (EVs), smartphones, solar panels, and other means of achieving a decarbonized world.
Demand for those critical minerals and metals, including cobalt, lithium, graphite and nickel sulphate, is poised to skyrocket. Such a project, much discussed in Ottawa these days, could give Canada greater geopolitical clout. It also appeals to our “own the podium” quest to achieve world leadership.
But it could also find Ottawa squandering taxpayer funds on a project that doesn’t make a lot of sense. There are better uses for the money, like investing more funds to solve our housing crisis.
That project could also see Canada succumbing to pressure from Washington and many European countries to do its part in a bid to counterbalance China’s overwhelming dominance in critical minerals.