Amarjeet Sohi, the federal Minister of Natural Resources and Michelle Mungall, the B.C. Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, close a three-day conference in Cranbrook featuring energy and mines ministers from across the country. Trevor Crawley photo.

National energy conference wraps up in Cranbrook

Provincial, territorial and federal ministers discuss energy policies, challenges and opportunities

A conference featuring provincial and federal energy ministers wrapped up on Wednesday with a pledge to grow and attract investment in Canada’s natural resource sector, while ensuring environmental sustainability, Indigenous partnerships, and transparent regulatory processes.

The three-day event featured workshops on topics such as Indigenous inclusion in Teck mining operations in the Elk Valley, women and gender equality in the natural resources sector and communicating Canada’s global energy and mining advantage.

Further issues discussed also included advancing and developing clean and renewable energy sources, modernizing infrastructure, and reducing reliance on greenhouuse gas emitting power sources.

The conference, which was hosted by the St. Eugene Golf Resort and Casino in the Ktunaxa Nation’s ʔaq’am community, also featured closed door sessions with ministers focusing on shared priorities and collaborative action, according to the meeting’s agenda.

“Canada’s natural advantage positions us to attract investments, develop new products sustainably and grow our global exports, while protecting our environment, fighting climate change and advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples,” said Amarjeet Sohi, the federal Minister of Natural Resources. “The opportunity is now, and we are taking bold action to deliver for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.”

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Sohi said is an inventory of 454 new major projects planned over the next 10 years with a value of $6.35 billion. He added that 170 projects are on the list for this year, 83 of which are in the energy sector.

In addition to workshops and roundtable discussions, the conference also included tours of Teck’s Elk Valley mining operations and the Interpretive Centre at St. Eugene.

The annual gathering concluded with a joint communique from all federal, provincial and territorial energy ministers, however, it was not endorsed by the governments of Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

“The time is now to build a clean energy future through the electrification of Canada’s growing economy,” said Michelle Mungall, B.C. Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “This year’s Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference highlighted leading innovations and best practices from across the country — including our government’s CleanBC plan.

“Mining is a foundational industry and provides family supporting jobs across Canada. With our strong Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards, we have an opportunity to work together on a responsible mining brad that will strengthen Canada’s competitiveness.”

WATCH: Feds announce $400K for ʔaq̓am housing energy retrofits

Under the framework of the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan (CMMP) released earlier this year, ministers discussed six pan-Canadian actions such as a nationwide geoscience strategy; increasing Indigenous and local procurement; improved remediation and reclamation initiatives; supporting innovation; a mineral literacy plan and establishing a Canada Brand for mining.

The first in a series of action plans involving those topics is set to be released early next year, according to the communique.

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