Canada’s green tech industry hiring boom could provide significant employment opportunities for immigrants

Vimal Sivakumar
Published: November 13, 2023

A five-billion-dollar electric vehicle (EV) battery plant being developed in Windsor, Ontario was recently in the news due to reports that say that the plant will employ 2,500 people “by the time hiring is complete in 2025.”

Coinciding with Canada’s noted commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, the development of this EV battery plant – and the required hiring that comes along with it – is an indication that green tech is an endeavour of importance to Canada's government and citizens.

In fact, earlier this year, it was reported that “Canada’s federal government is proposing to invest heavily in national clean energy and clean tech sectors”, according to the 2023 Budget release. In addition to $21 billion in new funding towards “a clean, next-generation economy”, Canada’s 2023 Budget contains tax credits – totalling roughly $55 billion – designed to attract added investment in such vital sectors.

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Simultaneously, the green tech industry is now becoming a larger source of employment opportunities for Canadian immigrants from coast to coast.

What follows is a recap of some of the reported employment efforts being made across Canada to bolster the green tech industry in this country.

British Columbia

In Western Canada, back in February of this year, the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan) made a significant investment towards the CleanTech industry in British Colmbia (B.C.).

Through, PacifiCan, a $5.2 million round of funding was announced, alongside a together with $2.3 million from the Province of B.C., for Foresight Canada.

According to the press release, this investment will aid the province in its goal to “accelerate the development and adoption of clean technologies” while also “[opening] up new markets and attracting world-class talent” to B.C.. More specifically, this funding is expected to help grow the province’s cleantech sector by creating 240 new jobs and attracting $280 million in investment. Greenhouse gas emissions are also expected to decline by 125 kilotonnes.

Alberta

A report from Clean Energy Canada (CEC) says that “jobs in Alberta’s clean energy sector” will experience a growth rate of 10% annually until net-zero 2050, said to be the fastest growth projection of any single province or territory in this country.

Between 2025 and 2050, CEC adds that Alberta would see an additional 419,000 clean energy jobs added to the region’s employment landscape.

Ontario

Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry announced an $8.5 million investment through Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) into VueReal on March 27, 2023. Alongside this investment comes an Ontario government investment of $2 million through Invest Ontario.

VueReal, a Waterloo-based technology firm, “develops and commercializes platforms” that, it says, “enable efficient and scalable production and integration of micro- and nano- devices such as microLEDs.”

Investments like this exemplify a commitment from the Government of Canada and SDTC to grow the economy and create job opportunities in the cleantech fields for Canadians.

The future of green tech employment across Canada

According to one source, the Canadian CleanTech sector employed more than 188,000 Canadians in 2021.

Another report, from June this year, says that “while nearly one-quarter of the labour market will experience disruption thanks to AI, the green transition could create 30 million jobs by 2030.”

Looking even further forward, a March 2023 report by CEC suggests that Canada will “see 700,000 more [net] energy jobs … than we have today” by net-zero 2050. This comes as gains with respect to clean energy jobs “outpace” jobs being lost in the fossil fuel industry.

Further establishing the expected job growth in the green tech sector across this country, the above report also asserts the following:

  • In a net-zero 2050, 1.3 million Canadians are set to be employed in EV-related jobs—60 times more than in 2025; and
  • Almost half a million people will be employed to supply clean energy in Canada in a net-zero 2050.

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