Natural resources are an important part of the fabric of Canada’s economy. This country has enormous natural wealth, from huge reserves of energy to massive tracts of forest and an abundance of minerals and metals.
For generations, natural resources have brought opportunity, jobs and growth to every region of Canada.
Natural resources account for 15 percent of our gross domestic product and 50 percent of our exports. When you include the spin-off industries that provide goods and services to the sector, natural resources account for close to 20 percent of our GDP — nearly a fifth of our economy.
The energy, mining and forestry industries provide over $30 billion a year in revenue to governments — money that supports critical social programs such as health, education and public pensions. That $30 billion is equal to half of all spending by governments on hospitals in Canada last year.
About 800,000 Canadians work in natural resource sectors, while another 800,000 people are employed serving those sectors. Add it up, and close to 1.6 million Canadians depend on natural resources for their jobs — 10 percent of all employment in Canada.
What’s more, natural resources are poised to play an even bigger role in our future. Over the next decade, more than 600 major resource projects, worth over $650 billion, are planned in communities across Canada. That $650 billion figure represents hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs in every sector of our economy, in every region of Canada.
That’s why our Government has a plan to unleash Canada’s natural resource potential. We call it Responsible Resource Development. This plan will streamline reviews of major projects by ensuring more predictable and timely reviews, reducing duplication, strengthening environmental protection, and enhancing consultations with Aboriginal peoples.
Responsible Resource Development means opportunities for all Canadians, including Aboriginal communities.
Our plan achieves the right balance to unleash the potential of our resource sectors to create high-value jobs across Canada while strengthening safety and environmental protection.
Responsible Resource Development means jobs, long-term growth and prosperity for all Canadians — both today and for generations to come.