Strengthening battery manufacturing in British Columbia
Thank you, Mayor Ruimy. Thank you, Dan, for that great introduction and all your incredible leadership and the vision that you’re sharing for Maple Ridge as being part of the future that Canada is building every single day.
I am always happy to be back in British Columbia, a place that has long been a leader in understanding that growing the economy and protecting the environment have to go together. It’s great to be here with our ministers, François-Philippe, Jonathan, Terry, and our standing B.C. MPs to talk about what we’re doing to keep our air clean and to secure good middle-class jobs in a growing clean economy.
Premier Eby and Minister Brenda Bailey, thank you for being here, alongside some of your colleagues. David, we’re here to talk about creating jobs and growing the economy, but we continue to collaborate on so many other issues as well, such as housing. This week, our government is unlocking loans to help build nearly 12,000 new apartments right across the country, including here in B.C., but it’s always great to see you, to work with you for the future of British Columbians and indeed, all Canadians. I know, from the years that I spent living out here and my deep roots in B.C., you can see the future a little more clearly from B.C. than from just about any other part of the country.
Nelson Chang, Chairman of E-One Moli Energy, and all the great workers here at E-One Moli, thank you for being here, but thank you as well for the incredible work and efforts that got us to this place where we can make this exciting announcement that is going to be shaping not just the future of Canada’s economy, but of the global economy. What you’ve been able to build here over the past decades is more relevant now than one could ever imagine, and is part of the exciting future we’re building, and I’m really looking forward to talking about that.
But first, I need to acknowledge and take a moment to recognize that the remains of Vivian Silver were identified yesterday in Israel. Originally thought to have been taken hostage, Vivian was killed by Hamas in the terror attacks on October 7th. Last month, I had the chance to meet with one of her sons, and I learned of her warmth, her compassion, and her lifelong commitment to building bridges between Israelis and Palestinians. Vivian dedicated her life to peace, and a bright light was extinguished on October 7th. Her courage, commitment, and compassion exemplifies what it means to be a Canadian, what it means to be engaged in the world in positive ways. She will be deeply missed; may her memory be a blessing.
Today, I can also confirm that over 350 Canadians and their family members have now been able to safely leave Gaza. We are working tirelessly and will not stop until we're able to secure the departure of the remaining Canadians. Supporting Canadian citizens and permanent residents continues to be our top priority.
And the human tragedy that is unfolding in Gaza is heart-wrenching, especially the suffering we see in and around the Al-Shifa Hospital. I have been clear that the price of justice cannot be the continued suffering of all Palestinian civilians. Even wars have rules. All innocent life is equal in worth, Israeli and Palestinian. I urge the government of Israel to exercise maximum restraint, because the world is watching. On TV, on social media, we're hearing the testimonies of doctors, family members, survivors, kids who've lost their parents. The world is witnessing this, the killing of women and children, of babies. This has to stop.
I urge Israel’s government to show the maximum restraint. The killing of women and children, of babies must stop.
For weeks, we've been calling now for a sustained humanitarian pause and unimpeded access to humanitarian aid for Palestinians civilians. We're all deeply concerned about reports that the UN may not be able to provide continued assistance. And Hamas, Hamas needs to stop using Palestinians as human shields. They need to release all hostages immediately and unconditionally. Hamas has said that they would commit horrors like October 7th over and over again, the same violent attack that killed so many civilians, including Vivian Silver.
So, right now, we need the violence to stop urgently so that Palestinians can get access to life-saving medical services, food, fuel, and water, so that all hostages can be released, and so that all Canadians and other nationals can leave Gaza. We hope that a sustained pause in the violence can help create the conditions for a lasting peace, a peace where, through renewed efforts to achieve a two-state solution, Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side in dignity and security.
And finally, on the subject of the conflict in the Middle East, I want to come back to what we have seen here in Canada in the last few days. Antisemitic attacks in Montreal, and elsewhere, are completely unacceptable.
The terrifying acts of antisemitic violence in Montreal, my other hometown, or elsewhere across this country, needs to stop. No parent should ever have to tell their child that their school was shot at. No rabbi should have to explain to their congregation that their synagogue was attacked. Antisemitism in any form is unacceptable everywhere. The RCMP is collaborating with local authorities in Montreal and in Quebec, and we're ready to offer more resources.
In this difficult time, we need to remember who we are, what values we stand for. We have to be there for each other.
In these most difficult of times, all Canadians need to remember who we are, what values we stand for. And regardless of the hurt and the grief that we may be feeling, we have to be there for our fellow Canadians. It’s the only way we make it through this, not just as a country, but as a world, by remembering who we are.
It is great, really great, to be back here today in Maple Ridge. Today's an important day for the local community, for B.C., and for the clean, strong economy we're building right across the country. E-One Moli has picked Maple Ridge to build a major lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing facility. This investment will create up to 350 great new jobs and secure over 100 existing positions.
This is great news, but it's not exactly surprising news because E-One Moli has been a long-time employer and leader here in Maple Ridge, and indeed right across B.C. and Canada. So, they know that the workers here are skilled, reliable, and always ready to step up and innovate. They know that B.C. has a clean energy supply and that Canada has essential resources that go into clean tech like batteries. And they know that our government has been working hard since 2015 to build up a whole clean tech ecosystem, from investment tax credits for manufacturing to a Critical Minerals Strategy to support for workers and their families, like $10-a-day child care and dental care.
The investments we’ve been making since 2015 to position Canada as a world leader in clean energy will ensure good jobs for our communities and for generations to come. Whether it’s with E-One Moli, Volkswagen, Northvolt, Rio Tinto and many other companies, our government is here to work in partnership to get projects moving quickly and attract international investment.
This new E-One Moli facility here in Maple Ridge will produce up to 135 million battery cells per year and become the largest factory in Canada for high performance lithium-ion battery cells. This means great middle-class jobs, great middle-class careers for years to come, and clean, made-in-Canada batteries for tools used in sectors like construction and health care.
This is where the puck is going, this is the future we are building together every single day. See, climate policy is economic policy. Our government gets it, the people here get it, and the thousands of workers with good-paying jobs that will last generations because of this vision, they get it too. Everything we do is to secure the promise of Canada, that promise that every generation gets to succeed even better than the generation before. That's the promise that built this country, that's the hard work of generations creating a better future every step of the way.
And we know global factors all around us are threatening that promise, not just for Canadians but for everyone around the world. But we know, here in Canada, how to roll up our sleeves, how to innovate, how to see where the future is going and be part of it. That's what E-One Moli is doing here in Canada. That's what companies and workers right across the country are busy building.
Every day we’re making sure that the promise of Canada is secure by creating good jobs while fighting climate change, because climate action and the economy go hand in hand.
Canada now ranks second in the world when it comes to the battery supply chain. We are ready to be the reliable supplier of clean energy that a net-zero world will need, and that's because of our relentless efforts all together over the past eight years. So, let's continue on this path. Canada is the best country in the world, let's keep working every day to make it even better.