The Manitoba Chambers of Commerce was pleased to participate in a roundtable discussion with the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources Canada, hosted by the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce earlier this week.

The Minister was in Winnipeg to hear from business leaders about the economy, energy security, the transition to a low-carbon economy, pathways to net-zero, and how the federal government can partner with provinces, municipalities, and business.

The Manitoba Chambers appreciated the discussion on the shifting energy needs of our global economy and welcomed the Minister’s comments on the importance of establishing a critical minerals strategy for Canada. The Minister stressed the urgency to secure Canada’s role in supplying critical minerals to power clean energy, technology, and battery supply chains.

The Minister noted budget 2022 committed $4.4B to developing and advancing the strategy, an investment that will go towards geoscience, infrastructure, key projects, and indigenous partnerships that advance each stage of the critical mineral value chain (from exploration and extraction to processing, refining, manufacturing and recycling). As we navigate the energy transition away from fossil fuels and commit to sustainable alternatives, Manitoba is uniquely positioned to be a leader in mining the critical minerals required to advance digital and green economy across the world. Not only does Manitoba boast world class deposits of copper-zinc, nickel, and lithium, it also has among the lowest industrial electricity rates in North America and is centrally located with optimal access to North American and European markets. Read about newly announced funding for Hudson Bay Rail line.

The Manitoba Chambers of Commerce believes this roundtable discussion was an important step in strengthening the relationship between business and Natural Resources Canada. As administrator of the Manitoba Mineral Development Fund (MMDF), we are committed to the mining industry’s success and to championing Northern economic development. We welcome the opportunity to:

  • Explore opportunities for clean tech companies to do business in Manitoba
  • Explore opportunities to accelerate projects within the critical mineral value chain in Manitoba (without compromising environmental protection/regulations)
  • Explore opportunities to advance economic reconciliation by removing barriers to equity partnerships or exploring agreements and tools that enable mining projects to create long-term economic benefits for communities
  • Explore new opportunities for Small Modular Nuclear Reactors in Pinawa