ARCHIVED - Statement by the Honourable Joe Oliver, P.C., M.P., Commemorating the Historic Discovery of Crude Oil at Leduc #1

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Natural Resources Canada
February 13, 2012

OTTAWA—Today, we celebrate the 65th anniversary of a pivotal moment for Canada’s economy and future prosperity.

On February 13, 1947, the first major Canadian discovery of crude oil was made near Leduc, Alberta. With Imperial Oil’s Leduc #1 discovery, Canada’s modern oil industry was born. What followed was a surge in economic growth and jobs that continues today, with benefits felt across the country.

Canada’s oil industry has evolved greatly in the past 65 years. It has played a huge role in establishing our energy sector as a major engine of the country’s economy. Canada has emerged as a global energy superpower.

Today, the energy sector generates employment in every area of our economy. The oil sands alone are responsible for close to 400,000 direct and indirect jobs in skilled trades, manufacturing, clerical work and the financial sector in every region of Canada. Based on projected development, the Canadian Energy Research Institute forecasts that the oil sands will support an annual average of 700,000 jobs over the next 25 years.

But the benefits reach far beyond these numbers. Over the last five years, the oil and gas extraction sector has paid an average of $22 billion a year in royalties and taxes to governments. That’s revenue to help support important programs like health and education.

Clearly, the development of Canada’s diverse, rich and abundant natural resource sector is critical to our standard of living and quality of life. It forms the backbone of Canada’s economy, is central to our pride and heritage as Canadians and offers the promise of jobs and prosperity for generations to come.

By accessing new energy markets, particularly the fast-growing Asia–Pacific region, Canadians can enjoy even greater benefits for generations to come.

Our Government is proud to recognize the historic discovery of Leduc #1 65 years ago as an important part of our heritage.

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Patricia Best
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
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Natural Resources Canada
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