Investing in Canadian clean innovation
Thank you, Filomena, for everything you do for people here in Hamilton, the story that you represent of having worked here as a summer student and now being back here ensuring that future generations of summer students get the same opportunity to see what this family is like and what this community can build is exciting.
Big shout out to Chad, Lisa, François-Philippe, a team that delivers for this community and for Canadians. I want to recognize Ron and Lakshmi from Dofasco and Arcelor Mittal, but I want to mostly recognize the workers here, all of you, without whom we wouldn't be here. And it's not just we wouldn't be here because we wouldn't be making this announcement; we wouldn't be here if it weren't for the extraordinary excellence that generations of Hamiltonians have put forward in making this plant and this industry world-class, every step of the way.
So when there is a look at where do we build the future of steelmaking, where do we know that we can create the strongest possible future globally, people turn not to a physical location but to the people who work here, as knowing that this is the best bet for transforming the industry for the better. So thank you. Without you, we wouldn't be here.
But before I begin, I need to talk about another important step that we're taking in the face of horrific human rights abuses perpetrated by the Iranian regime. Minister Joli has announced new sanctions against 17 people and three entities that have participated in or enabled gross human rights violations, including against Iranian women, and who have spread disinformation to try and justify the Iranian regime's repression and persecution of its citizens.
We will continue to implement sanctions in the weeks ahead, and this includes moving forward with the unprecedented step of listing the regime under IRPA, as we did for those responsible for Bosnian war crimes 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've really got to say it is so good to be back here at Dofasco. A few years ago, I was here meeting with workers, and we were all worried about the imposition of unnecessary tariffs, unjust measures that put at risk jobs and our economic opportunities. Well together, we worked really hard, we stood strong, we got those tariffs lifted so that plant could keep going strong. And that's what allows us to be here today with an announcement, looking with incredible optimism and vision towards the future, not just 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 plant has provided careers that workers and their families can be proud of. A number of folks I met who were second and third generation, is great, but I look forward to decades from now politicians coming, talking about fifth, sixth, seventh generation workers at this plant. And that's where we need to make sure we're going, because for our future, there's no better example of clean Canadian innovation powering our way forward.
We believe in the innovation and expertise of Canadian workers and Canadian industry, and this is why we are providing the support they need.
Just over a year ago we announced a historic investment in the future of this plant. We invested $400 million to help Dofasco phase out coal-fired steelmaking and move to electric furnaces, and today, we're seeing how this project means real results.
To begin with, we're creating as many as 2500 good jobs on construction of the project, while importantly, securing the future of workers here at the Hamilton plant. We're also helping Dofasco become the world's first major steel producer to move to this cleaner process. That's a huge competitive advantage in a world using steel in everything from electric vehicles to skyscrapers, and with increasing pressure by clients and consumers to make sure that steel is as green as possible. And of course, while we're doing all that, we're also keeping our air clean here at home. This investment will help cut pollution equivalent to taking almost a million cars off the road.
As we step back and we look at how this announcement fits into the bigger picture, we have to acknowledge that from the geopolitical challenges around the world, of Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine, coming out of the pandemic, having disrupted supply chains and contributed to inflation, rising cost of living, interest rate challenges, climate change itself causing more and more extreme weather events, from increasingly intense hurricanes, like we just saw in Atlantic Canada, to wildfires, floods across the country and displacement of peoples around the world.
There is no question that we live in a time of anxiety, where people are worried about what their lives are going to look like, where their jobs are going to come from, what the world is going to look like in the coming years. And that's why we see a certain number of political players and politicians out there trying to tell people that, no, no, no, we can keep things as they are, we can get back to the way things used to be, we can hunker down and return to some way things used to be and reassure people with that.
I don't think that's the right idea, because there is no question that the world is changing. The question is how do we make sure that Canada benefits from that change? And more importantly, how do we make sure that Canadians drive that change?
And that's exactly what we're celebrating here today. The fact that the work that we've been doing as a government, the work that you've been doing as a company, the work that Hamilton has been doing – it's great to see Mayor Eisenberger here – to push forward into an ambitious future, and mostly the work that all of you have been doing as workers, making sure that every day you think about doing things better for your job, for the company, but also better for the community, better for the environment, better for your kids futures, that has all come together with the fact that right now, the first major steel company in the world making the switch towards electric, away from coal, it's happening right here in Hamilton.
It's not happening in Europe, it’s certainly not happening in China, it’s not even happening in Asia, in Japan or South Korea where there's lots of innovations going on. But this big decision and this big step is being led right here by all of you Canadians, and by a company that has an understanding that Canada is a place that has a better idea about what the future looks like and how we're going to get there than just about any other place in the world.
That's what this is. You cannot build a strong economy for the future if you don't understand that the world is changing and fighting climate change and decarbonizing needs to be a part of it. And not only is it the responsible thing to do, it's also the smart, competitive thing to do. The demand for green steel, the demand for cleaner technological solutions is increasing massively around the world, faster than even the most innovative companies can keep up with.
And that's why this project, and accelerating this project as much as possible, is going to ensure that Hamilton and Canada stay at the forefront of the global markets.
You know, earlier this week, I visited Rio Tinto in Quebec to announce a major investment in the production of critical minerals here in Canada. Today, we’re here to see the positive effects of supporting Canadian clean steel. When we support Canadian workers and industry, our future is bright.
So pay no heed to those politicians who still think there's a choice to be made between good middle-class jobs and a cleaner environment. We are proving every day; you are proving every day that that's no longer the case. Because you look here and what do we see what we're building, good jobs and lifelong careers, a strong, resilient local economy and Canadian economy, and cleaner air for generations to come. That's why this announcement is so exciting, that's why the coming years are so exciting. As we know that Canada can lead the way into a stronger and cleaner future for everyone.