The Canadian Federal Government is Failing Canadians

For the sake of all current Canadian workers and those yet to come, we need to immediately start a Crown corporation tasked with building the new energy framework.

The new Canadian National Hydrogen Strategy[1] is a federal government report identifies the following: where Canada is now, lists what assets we have, indicates some challenges, offers some suggestions, and, most importantly, it clearly states that the Federal Government will not provide initiative (see the top two of 8 recommendations)[2].

This is not the Canadian way. The transition to clean energy is in infancy and Canadians need leadership -not from Beijing, Moscow, Riyadh or Washington- from Ottawa and the provincial or territorial capitals.

Historically, the Canadian way has been to create a Crown[3] corporation to boost and maintain our technical expertise, enhancing the lives of Canadians everywhere, and indirectly impact our global neighbours. Almost every major industry and almost every major corporation in Canada is -or has been- a crown corporation from aviation, transportation, telecommunications, power generation, oil and gas, finance, to nuclear energy.

In the years leading up to 2030 and beyond, most jurisdictions’[4] around the world have pledged to significantly curtail their use of oil and gas. Regardless of whether those jurisdictions exceed, meet, or fall short of their targets, eventually, the market will shrink and become a shadow of its former self. You do not need formal training in economics to realize that increasing the supply to a shrinking, crowded market is not a sound decision. I ask you, why are we competing for the crumbs of a crumbling pie with competitors who are larger and have superior products?

There is nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Delaying investment into a superior (in every way) industry indicates an abdication[5] of leadership to vested interests and short-term perspectives. The government’s forecast: “by 2050 the hydrogen industry will likely ‘generate more than 350,000 high-paying jobs from coast to coast and lead to a $50 billion domestic hydrogen sector” [6] without government intervention. With a little bit of leadership, political will, and investment in the Canadian way, reality could dwarf this estimate.

Let’s unpack that statement a bit

It is now 29 years until 2050. A simple comparison:

350,000 / 29 = 12,069 new high paying jobs EVERY year.

Estimates for peak Trans mountain pipeline employment are around 15,000[7] for one- or-two years during construction, and then the estimated number of long-term jobs falls into the hundreds at best.

As noted above, we are pouring money into projects that are guaranteed to destroy more of our land and exacerbate our negative contribution to climate change; they will likely sentence several species to extinction, and -inevitably- oil and gas projects will fail. Clearly stated, YES, we (the government) are aware of the likely direction of the energy industry and its benefits, but we are more concerned with being re-elected than anything else.

Starting a new industry will take time and the bulk of the 350,000 high paying new jobs likely will materialize after 2040.

I suggest we commit to a faster transition so we can be at the forefront of innovation! We can only benefit from developing the expertise that will be much sought after globally; all those disadvantages[8] are opportunities. Discovering cheaper and more efficient ways of producing, storing, and using hydrogen can only occur through expanded use. Why not take advantage and become global leaders now?

Imagine being able to sell reliable, safe, cost-effective, efficient, and clean hydrogen-based products, and then supply the hydrogen (we have done it before with the nuclear industry[9]).

Imagine being asked to build a hydrogen pipeline!

Again! This can -and should- be done without imperiling anyone’s livelihood.

Be seeing you!

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