Investing in Canadian clean innovation | So Good News
Philomena, thank you for all you have done for the people of Hamilton, for working here as a summer student and now being back here so that future generations of summer students can see what this family is all about. I like it and it’s exciting what this community can do.
Big shout out to Chad, Lisa, Francois-Philippe, the team that helps this community and Canadians. I want to recognize Ron and Lakshmi from Dofasco and ArcelorMittal, but mostly I want to recognize the workers here, all of you, without whom we would not be here. It’s just that we wouldn’t be here because we wouldn’t have made that announcement; We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the incredible skill that generations of Hamiltonians have shown in bringing this plant and this industry to world class every step of the way.
So where do we create the future of steelmaking, how do we know we can create the strongest possible future globally, people look not to the physical place, but to the people who work here, because that’s the best bet to change the industry for the better. So thank you. We wouldn’t be here without you.
But before I begin, I must mention another important step against the horrific human rights abuses committed by the Iranian regime. Secretary Joly announced new sanctions against 17 individuals and three organizations, including Iranian women, who have participated in or allowed gross human rights abuses and spread false information to justify the Iranian regime’s harassment and persecution of its own citizens.
We will continue to impose sanctions in the coming weeks, and that includes moving forward with the unprecedented step of listing the regime under the IRPA, as we did for those responsible for war crimes in Bosnia and the Rwandan genocide.
Canada continues to stand up for women’s rights, human rights and the rule of law around the world, and we will not back down.
But I have to say it’s great to be back in Dofasco. A few years ago, I met with workers here and we were all concerned about unnecessary tariffs, unfair measures that threaten jobs, and our economic opportunities. Together, we’ve worked really hard, we’ve stood firm, we’ve removed tariffs so that the plant can continue to run strong. This gives us the opportunity to make today’s announcement with great optimism and vision for the future, not only for this plant, but for the steel industry in Canada and around the world.
For decades, the steel industry has been a key engine of growth for the Canadian economy. For generations, this factory has provided careers that workers and their families can be proud of. The second and third generation people I’ve met are great, but I look forward to decades from now when politicians talk about the fifth, sixth, seventh generation workers in this factory. That’s where we need to be sure we’re going, because there’s no better example of pure Canadian innovation powering us forward for our future.
We believe in the innovation and expertise of Canadian workers and Canadian industry, so we’re giving them the support they need.
More than a year ago, we announced a historic investment in the future of this plant. We invested $400 million to help Dofasco phase out its coal-fired steel smelters and transition to electric furnaces, and today we’re seeing that project translate into tangible results.
First, we are creating 2,500 good jobs in the construction of the project, while securing the future of workers at the Hamilton plant. We are also helping Dofasco become the first major steel producer in the world to switch to this refining process. This is a huge competitive advantage in a world where steel is used in everything from electric vehicles to skyscrapers, and there is increasing pressure from clients and customers to ensure that steel is as green as possible. Of course, while doing all this, we also keep our air clean at home. This investment will help reduce pollution equivalent to taking nearly a million cars off the road.
As we step back and look at how this announcement fits into the bigger picture, we have to acknowledge that the geopolitical challenges in the world, Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, the pandemic, disruption of supply chains, have played their part. inflation, rising cost of living, interest rate challenges, climate change itself is causing more and more extreme weather events, from intensified hurricanes like the ones we’ve seen in Atlantic Canada, to wildfires, flooding across the country and displacement of people around the world.
There is no doubt that we live in an age full of anxiety, where people worry about what their lives will be like, where their jobs will come from, and what the world will be like in the years to come. And that’s why we see some political players and politicians trying to tell people, no, no, no, we can keep things the way they were, we can restore the way they were, we can hunt. step down and go back to where you were before and convince people to do so.
I don’t think it’s a good idea because the world is definitely changing. The question is: How do we ensure that Canada benefits from this change? And most importantly, how do we make sure Canadians lead this change?
And that’s exactly what we’re celebrating today. The work we’re doing as a government, the work you’re doing as a company, the work Hamilton is doing—it’s great to see Mayor Eisenberger here—to look forward to an ambitious future. , and basically what you’re all doing as workers, make sure you’re thinking every day about making things better for your job, for your company, but also for society, better for the environment, better for your kids futures, all of that right now, away from coal, electricity The world’s first major steel company to move to power has merged with what’s happening right here in Hamilton.
It’s not happening in Europe, there’s not a lot of innovation happening in China, certainly in Asia, Japan or South Korea. But this big decision and this big step is being led right here by a company that understands that you, all Canadians, and that Canada is a place where we have a better understanding of what the future looks like and how we can do it. reach it than anywhere else in the world.
That’s what this is. You cannot build a strong economy for the future if you do not understand that the world is changing and dealing with climate change and that decarbonisation must be part of it. This is not only responsible, but also smart, competitive. The demand for green steel, the demand for clean technology solutions, is growing massively worldwide, faster than even the most innovative companies can keep up with.
So this project, and accelerating this project as much as possible, will ensure that Hamilton and Canada remain at the forefront of global markets.
As you know, earlier this week I went to Rio Tinto in Quebec to announce a major investment in Canada’s key minerals. Today we are here to see the positive impact of supporting Canadian clean steel. Our future is bright when we support Canadian workers and industry.
So ignore the politicians who think there’s a choice between good middle-class jobs and a clean environment. We prove it every day; you prove every day that this is not the case. Because you look here and you see what we’re building, good jobs and lifelong careers, a strong, sustainable local and Canadian economy, and clean air for generations to come. That’s why this announcement is so exciting, so the years ahead are so exciting. As we know, Canada can lead the way to a stronger and cleaner future for all.