The opening day of the Association of Mineral Exploration (AME) Roundup conference in Vancouver saw some political sparks fly as natural resources minister, Jonathan Wilkinson and Conservative Party firebrand Pierre Poilievre delivered remarks.
The opposition leader made the point that limelight-loving Liberal leader, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, had squandered the past eight years to build an alternative supply chain able to service the emerging electric vehicle market and so-called energy revolution. “Instead, miners today face permitting delays ranging from five to 25 years, according to official government information, higher taxes increased red tape and governmental obstacles that drive production down and pollution up,” Poilievre said.
He said the recent federal government announcements of new EV production capacity and battery precursor mineral processing plants opening as coming a little too late.
“Canada ranks sixth in the world for lithium reserves, according to Poilievre. “And the last two years on record, we did not produce a tablespoon of lithium here in Canada, even while production has exploded worldwide,” said Poilievre.
“We have the third largest reserves of oil anywhere on earth, but we're still importing 130,000 barrels of oil from overseas every single day, supporting foreign dictators and sending our money to them when we could be keeping it here,” he said.