Canada will fast-track energy and mining projects important to allies: Freeland
Canada will have to fast-track energy and mining projects if it is to help its democratic allies and achieve its own net-zero ambitions, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a speech this week in Washington — the most tangible signal to date that the federal Liberal government is prepared to address regulatory hurdles that have hampered economic development in this country for years.
In a swing through the U.S. capital to attend meetings of the IMF and World Bank, Freeland told a gathering at the Brookings Institution that a deepening of trade ties between allied democracies will be necessary to combat powerful autocratic regimes such as Russia and China. Democracies, Freeland said, must make a conscious effort to build supply chains through each other’s economies — a phenomenon U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has described as “friendshoring.”
“Canada must — and will — show similar generosity in fast-tracking, for example, the energy and mining projects our allies need to heat their homes and to manufacture electric vehicles,” Freeland said. “I cite these examples because, critically, friendshoring must be green. The curse of oil is real, and so is the dependence of many of the world’s democracies on the world’s petro-tyrants.”
Freeland’s pronouncement set off a shockwave in Canada, surprising some trade experts and drawing praise from energy and mining groups who have been pushing for more regulatory certainty to encourage investment in Canada’s natural resource sector.
History is shiftingCarlo Dade
“This could be really important,” said Carlo Dade, director of the trade and investment centre at the Canada West Foundation, noting that it would amount to a “sea change” if the shift is sustained and serious.