OTTAWA — Merran Smith, chief innovation officer and founder of Clean Energy Canada, made the following statement in response to the federal government’s newly released interim Sustainable Jobs Plan:
“The transition to clean energy represents the economic opportunity of our lifetimes. Accordingly, it also requires a good plan.
“The federal government’s interim Sustainable Jobs Plan is a commendable step in the right direction. Backed with appropriate funding and legislation, it will help ensure Canada navigates the energy transition with foresight and intention.
“The plan is wide-reaching and includes many ideas worthy of praise, such as the establishment of a sustainable job secretariat and partnership council, its integration with the union training and innovation program, and its promotion of Indigenous-led solutions. The plan also highlights the government’s ongoing work to develop regional economic strategies for each province and territory to seize the opportunities of a Canadian net-zero economy, as well as better labour market tracking and analysis—an idea Clean Energy Canada has long advocated for.
“Canada will need the right policies, the strategic investments, and the skilled labour to turn this plan into tomorrow’s reality. For now, it is a key first step toward ensuring Canadian businesses and workers are ready and prepared to gain the greatest benefit from the energy transition.
“As previous Clean Energy Canada research has shown, there are big opportunities in emerging sectors like the battery supply chain, which alone could support up to 250,000 jobs by 2030 while adding $48 billion to the Canadian economy annually. With the right climate plan, more jobs will be created in clean energy than will be lost in fossil fuels.
“The world is racing toward net zero with or without us. What we can do is retain and expand our competitive advantage by preparing our workforce for the high-skilled opportunities of a promising new reality.”