Announcing a new investment in Canada’s steel industry to create jobs and build a cleaner future
Good morning everyone, hello. Thank you, Terry, for those kind words. Thank you for your passion, your conviction, your resilience, and the strength of your voice for Sault Ste. Marie. You have from the very beginning consistently stood up for this community and for the incredible people who live here. It has resonated not just throughout national Caucus but throughout the government. We’re lucky to have you on the team, but the Sault is lucky to have you as well.
I’m also happy to be joined by Minister François-Philippe Champagne, another tireless champion of workers and the environment.
A bit shout-out to Mayor Christian Provenzano, great to have you here, a friend and strong partner for Northern Ontario. And of course, for Mike McQuade, for welcoming us to Algoma this morning.
It’s so good to be back in the Sault. Whenever I’m here in this beautiful city I’m reminded that this is a place where no obstacle is too big, and no opportunity is too small. Just think of when we came together and got unjustified tariffs on Canadian steel removed, or the last 15 months, which saw neighbours supporting each other through a once-in-a-generation pandemic. When there’s a job to be done, this city steps up to the plate to turn challenges into opportunities. And in today’s world, I can’t think of a better way to move forward.
My friends, there’s no doubt that climate change is the test of our generation. Canadians get that. That’s why people voted for real climate action almost two years ago. But of course, it’s not just about protecting our environment, it’s about protecting jobs, too. After all, even if there are those who would try to say otherwise, fighting climate change and growing the economy must go hand-in-hand.
Canada is well placed to be a leader and give the world the cleanest and most efficient innovations, now and for decades to come. That’s why we set the bold target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, and last week that target became a law.
It gives Canadians and businesses the confidence they need to continue investing in clean innovations and technologies. This framework of accountability and transparency will help us reach this target in a way that gives Canadians confidence, and gives businesses and workers the tools they need to succeed and remain competitive. And that’s precisely why we’re here today.
Today we’re investing up to $420 million for Algoma Steel to make green retrofits in its operations and phase out coal-fired steelmaking processes. With new state-of-the-art equipment, Algoma Steel will transition to Electric-Arc Furnace production, giving them an even greater competitive edge over imported steel. That’s not just good for business; that’s good for the environment too. This green transition will be the equivalent of taking over 900,000 cars off the road – as François-Philippe pointed out – that’s a huge step for cutting pollution.
It’s not hard to see why industrial plants like Algoma Steel are seeing the opportunities of clean innovation and saying, I want in. And as they do, they’re bringing workers along with them. With our investment in green retrofits, Algoma will create 500 well-paying jobs over the next four years, 450 new student co-op placements for the next generation of workers, and training for 75 high-skilled jobs in STEM. It just goes to show that by investing in Canadian know-how, we can create good jobs for today and tomorrow alike, from manufacturing the best steel in the world, to mining the critical metals for our zero-emissions future.
Our investment means that workers in Algoma will have jobs for decades to come. They’ll feel secure and confident knowing they can make their mortgage payments and save for their children’s education. Of course, it also means less pollution, and it protects the shores of the Great Lakes and the forests of the Canadian Shield.
Good jobs, clean air, a strong economy; that’s win/ win/ win. And today’s announcement is just the start, very soon we’ll have good news about another major investment, this time with Arcelor Dofasco (sic) in Hamilton. I’ll have more to say then, but the bottom line is this; another iconic steelmaker will become more competitive and an even stronger partner in reducing emissions. Combined, these two projects alone have the potential to reduce our emissions by about 6 megatonnes a year, helping us reach our ambitious climate goals.
For industry and for climate, we’re getting results.
In a sense, our path to a carbon neutral future begins with steel plants. Steel is essential in achieving carbon neutrality, for everything from wind turbines to public transit and electric vehicles. And on the topic of electric vehicles, we announced last week that 100% of cars and trucks sold in Canada will be zero emission by 2035. For our economy, reducing transportation emissions is one of easiest and most beneficial measures we can take from now until 2050. Bold investments like this one lead to bold climate action.
We’re up against a real challenge when it comes to climate change, there’s no doubt. But we also have a real opportunity too, this is no time for old ways of thinking or skeptics that would tell us we have to choose between jobs or climate action. This is the moment to work together to build a clean future and a more resilient economy. In fact, people understand you can’t have a real plan to strengthen our economy if you don’t have a real plan to fight climate change; and that’s what I’m focused on; clean air, good middle-class jobs, and a brighter future for all our kids.
And that’s why it’s such a pleasure to be here in the Sault today.
Thank you, everyone.
Thank you all.