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Regina — The Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, in a speech today to the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce outlined the important contributions the mining and energy sectors are making to the province’s economy. He emphasized the need for system-wide review of the regulatory process for major natural resource projects.
“Natural resources account for 18.3 percent of Saskatchewan’s real GDP,as well as 8.8 percent of jobs. The timely and responsible development of our vast natural resources holds the promise of unparalleled economic growth and prosperity — not only for Saskatchewan but for our country as a whole,” said Minister Oliver. “Our Government is every bit as determined as the people of Saskatchewan to see it come to fruition.”
Minister Oliver highlighted the important work the Government of Canada has done, and will continue to do, in modernizing there view process for major projects to ensure future economic prosperity and energy security.
“Regulatory modernization is a key priority for our Government,” said Minister Oliver. “We are committed to ensuring that Canada can attract the capital it needs to develop its natural resources and to build the infrastructure to move these resources to new markets.”
“We can achieve a regulatory system that protects Canadians and the environment, while helping to ensure future prosperity for Canadians across the country,” said Minister Oliver. “We can provide reviews that are more predictable and timely by reducing regulatory duplication. In addition, we can protect the environment and address the legitimate concerns of Canadians, including Aboriginal people.”
While in Regina, the Minister hosted a roundtable with representatives from the Saskatchewan Mining Association to discuss issues and opportunities for the industry. He then met with Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall to discuss issues related to natural resource development.
He also took the opportunity to tour the Consumer’s Co-operative Refineries Limited facility in Regina, which uses heavy crude from Alberta and Saskatchewan to supply gasoline and other petroleum products to Saskatchewan and other Western provinces, as well as upgraded crude oil to Eastern Canada. A current expansion of the refinery is employing 1,400 construction workers and will add 150 permanent employees, bringing the total workforce to 820.
Minister Oliver also visited the Petroleum Technology Research Centre to announce $14million in new federal funding for the Centre’s Aquistore carbon capture and storage demonstration project. The Government of Canada is providing $9 million to the project through the ecoENERGY Technology Initiative and $5 million through Sustainable Development Technology Canada.
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