Highlights from Crestview Strategy’s weekly newsletters:
Atlantic Canadians are cleaning up after post-tropical storm Lee made landfall on Saturday. One person was killed in Maine, while the Maritimes dealt with destructive winds, high tides and torrential rains that toppled trees, flooded roadways, and caused power outages affecting hundreds of thousands of residents.
E3 Lithium has opened Alberta’s first lithium extraction pilot project. Global demand for lithium has continued to climb in recent years due to the rise in electric vehicle manufacturing, and Alberta is home to one of the world’s largest deposits. Lithium extraction is a core focus of Canada’s Critical Minerals Strategy, an 8-year plan to increase domestic extraction and production of lithium, cobalt, copper, titanium, and zinc. E3 Lithium opened the site east of Olds and hold the mineral rights to an estimated 16 million tonnes, with a plan to extract lithium naturally from oilfield brines. The company aims to pilot the technology this fall, and suggests it is scalable to full commercialization by late 2026. While E3 is the first to begin extraction, several other companies in the province are in the planning stages, with both provincial and federal governments keen to quickly capitalize on the emergent industry.
The annual Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) conference begins today in Vancouver, marking one of the biggest BC political events of the year. Elected officials and municipal staff from across the province will gather to discuss shared policy priorities and meet with provincial officials. Main topics of discussion this year will be concerns related to wildfire management and climate change, housing challenges, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, decriminalization and public drug use.
On Wednesday, the conference will hear keynotes from Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin, Municipal Affairs Minister Anne Kang, and Green Leader Sonia Furstenau. In addition, there will be “cabinet town halls” on housing (with Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon, Finance Minister Katrine Conroy, and Mental Health and Addictions Minister Jennifer Whiteside); emergency preparedness (with Emergency Management Minister Bowinn Ma, Forests Minister Bruce Ralston and Water, Land and Resource Stewardship Minister Nathan Cullen); and on improving public services (with Health Minister Adrian Dix, Citizens’ Services Minister Lisa Beare and Education and Child Care Minister Rachna Singh).
BC United Leader Kevin Falcon will give a keynote address to delegates on Thursday and Premier David Eby will give a closing address on Friday.
Government Reviewing Plans to Dissolve Regional Governments
Ontario’s new Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Paul Calandra, is reviewing the government’s plan to appoint “special facilitators” to assess the state of six regional municipalities in the province, including Simcoe County and the Durham, Halton, Waterloo, York and Niagara regions. The pause does not impact the Peel Region, which was dissolved through legislation earlier in the spring.
PM unveils list of new parliamentary secretaries, with House of Commons set to return Monday – September 16, 2023
The prime minister on Saturday announced names of the 39 Liberal MPs who will serve as parliamentary secretaries in the coming sitting of Parliament. “As the House returns this Monday, I know this team is ready to work hard to continue delivering real progress for Canadians,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a news release.
All Ubers, Lyfts and taxis should be zero emissions by 2031, city recommends – September 14, 2023
A new City report has recommended that all Ubers, Lyfts, taxis and other vehicles for hire should be zero-emissions by 2031. The report, which City Hall will consider on Sept. 21, recommends that all vehicles for hire, with the exception of stretch limousines and accessible vehicles, reach zero emissions. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles would be permitted until December 31, 2032, if the recommendations in the report are implemented.