Canada gets it right with new critical materials report
Government report should be mandatory reading
Last week, Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry and Technology issued a report entitled: “POSITIONING CANADA AS A LEADER IN THE SUPPLY AND PROCESSING OF CRITICAL MINERALS.” I urge everyone to read it. Canada is the leader in the Americas in the mining of the critical metals for EVs, and as this report shows it is embarked upon a government-supported and funded initiative to become a world class provider of not only the downstream end-user forms of those critical materials, but of the consumer products dependent upon them, such as EVs and the batteries they need as well as stationary storage batteries, and the rare earth permanent magnet motors that most efficiently propel EVs.
The report is, not “should be,” mandatory reading for the elected officials and bureaucrats of the USA, the UK, and the EU. Just go to the table of contents page, which has live links for each topic, and you have the outline of a textbook on the topic of “How can a government support the development of a domestic, world class, critical metals enabled high tech consumer industry?” Note well that China has already done this! The United States and Europe publish voluminous reports patting themselves on the back but showing no consultation with industry or finance whatsoever. This Canadian report puts Canada at the forefront of a revolution in how a democracy can compete with an autocracy and can implement an industrial policy without falling into the “just throw money at a problem” mentality of the USA and Europe.
It has been said that to accomplish anything, you need people who come from a culture that honors work and expects results. This is no longer the culture in the United States, and this is why the United States cannot catch up with Asia in technological prowess or “reclaim” its former and rapidly fading lead. The rapid rise of Canada as a technology products powerhouse will also constrain American production, as Canada uses its own high tech raw materials domestically just as China does.
From the introduction to the Canadian critical materials report (p. 9)
The two American bubbles, the Hollywood fantasy culture and the Washington and coastal center cities’ economic fantasy, have combined to ensure the end of social mobility through economic improvement for any and all who try hard enough and to replace it with financialized fascism decorated with the appearance of social justice trumping merit and of selective “data”-based clueless illogic replacing scientific inquiry that has created a need to direct the energy economy to oblivion strictly to enrich an oligarchy.
Unlike the USA, Canada has a clean sheet, technologically. It has not lost its respect for merit-based scientists, and although badly infected by clueless social justice, its universities and government still retain a culture that values scientific accomplishment and is against man-made energy poverty (aka, the green new deal). American readers should note that Canadians use more energy per capita than Americans. Winnipeg’s climate is not like San Diego’s.
Thus, I am not surprised, and I have some pride (note: my parents emigrated from Winnipeg to Detroit in 1923-26 seeking the opportunities offered by the then “American dream” of social mobility) in the fact that Canada’s Parliament has the making and keeping of Canada’s standard of living for everyone a top priority. The Canadian dream is, in my opinion, today more viable than the fading American dream.
The founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, said last week of recent pronouncements by the White House: “It’s either straight ahead misdirection or a deep misunderstanding of basic market dynamics.”
Let me add that the U.S. government also has a deep misunderstanding of the technology of natural resource production and its limitations. Canada’s Parliament could give some good tips to the Americans.
Jack Lifton is the Editor in Chief, Critical Minerals for InvestorIntel.com, a capital market source celebrating its 21st year in business. He is also a ... <Read more about Jack Lifton>