Regional Tables Launched to Collaboratively Drive Economic Opportunities in a Prosperous Net-Zero Future

June 1, 2022 at 10:03 am  Federal, Politics

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.

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