Industry stakeholders, experts applaud feds’ critical minerals spending, as geopolitics loom large in supply chains – by Mike Lapointe (Hill Times – May 3, 2022)

Canada must ‘learn from other market-oriented liberal democracies,’ when it comes to the development of our critical mineral sector, says Conservative resources critic Greg McLean.

The federal government’s recent $3.8-billion budget proposal to develop Canada’s increasingly important critical minerals sector has been met with support from industry experts.

But David Billedeau, senior director of natural resources and environmental sustainability at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, says it’s still “the start of a very long journey—other countries are more advanced in this space than Canada, and we need to catch up.”

Pointing out that countries like Australia realized that they were falling behind and made significant legislative changes to speed up approval processes for projects while still maintaining exceptional environmental standards, Conservative MP Greg McLean (Calgary Centre, Alta.) said in an email to The Hill Times that Canada must “learn from other market-oriented liberal democracies.”

The Conservatives are calling for mechanisms to ensure that Canada “does not become a low-cost commodity supplier to price-setting jurisdictions,” said McLean, his party’s natural resources critic. He said it’s the government’s responsibility to make sure key resources “are not exploitable by hostile, foreign state-owned entities, to the detriment of Canada’s national security interests.”

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