Open Letter: Canada must act now to remain competitive

This letter originally appeared as an advertisement in the National Post and the Hill Times.

March 23, 2023
the Pembina Institute and 23 other organizations
Construction workers on a site

Photo credit: Clean Energy Canada/Shutterstock

As the world rapidly moves towards a net zero economy, Canada has a generational opportunity to position itself for success in the 21st-century sustainable economy. Canada has the tools and assets to lead: A highly educated and highly skilled workforce, innovative companies, an abundance of natural resources, and extensive infrastructure.

Canada’s major trading partners have already moved aggressively and swiftly, notably with America’s Inflation Reduction Act and the EU’s equally ambitious Green Deal Industrial Plan.

Canada must meet these global initiatives head-on, with a response that sets the country up for economic success across existing and new industrial sectors alike, while ensuring our country can export clean energy, green materials, and technology that will contribute to global decarbonization.

We encourage the federal government to take bold steps in Budget 2023 to support the Canadian businesses that are innovating and shifting to compete in a low carbon world.

This must include:

  • Supporting clean and affordable electricity production and infrastructure—in partnership with Indigenous Nations—to grow new industries and help existing industries decarbonize.
  • Providing an appropriate fiscal response to the IRA, including tax credits, contracts for difference, and ‘Buy Clean’ actions to decarbonize and scale up industries where we have competitive advantages.
  • Accelerating regulatory processes to get projects built more quickly so Canada does not fall behind.
  • Supporting skills training for workers so they can find good-paying jobs in the low-carbon economy.
  •  Supporting the development of new industries, including critical minerals, clean hydrogen, clean fuels, and clean technologies.

The world’s major economies are building cleaner futures, and they are looking for trade partners with like-minded visions. Canada must be unequivocal that it shares this commitment—while taking the steps to prove it—before we lose our existing advantages and miss the boat on the biggest shift in global trade relations in a generation.


Accelerate: Canada’s ZEV Supply Chain Alliance

Alberta Industrial Heartland Association

Aluminium Association of Canada

Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Green Energy

Canada’s Building Trades Unions

Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Canadian Climate Institute

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

Canadian Steel Producers Association

Cement Association of Canada

Chemistry Industry Association of Canada

City of Greater Sudbury

Clean Energy Canada

Clean Prosperity

Efficiency Canada

Electric Mobility Canada

Forest Products Association of Canada

Indigenous Clean Energy

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

Ivey Foundation

Mining Association of Canada

Pembina Institute

The Transition Accelerator

Trottier Family Foundation