I am pleased to present the 2015–2016 Departmental Performance Report for Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).
While the report’s focus is necessarily retrospective, it reflects a forward-looking department leading the way on issues that matter to Canadians. Today’s headlines read like an overview of NRCan priorities: climate change and the increasing use of renewable energy, Canada’s relationship with Indigenous communities, the imperative of innovation and the acceleration of continental collaboration.
To address these issues, and reflective of the mandate letter given to me by the Prime Minister, the Department is focusing on resetting the tone of its relationship with Canadians. And while we recognize that helping to get our natural resources to market is a core responsibility of the federal government, doing so is only possible if Canadians have confidence in the way that major energy projects are reviewed.
This requires engaging meaningfully with Indigenous communities, strengthening our environmental assessment approach, modernizing the National Energy Board, basing decisions on science and providing opportunities for Canadians to have their say and contribute their ideas. The past year has seen important developments in all of these areas.
The Department has made progress on the international front as well. We have signed unprecedented agreements with Mexico and the United States, culminating with the North American Leaders’ Summit in Ottawa in June, where the three leaders signed an action plan on climate, clean energy and environmental partnership.
In the past year, Canada became one of the founding members of Mission Innovation, an international partnership of 20 countries and the European Union, committed to doubling their investments in clean technologies over five years. Together with the private sector-led Breakthrough Energy Coalition, Mission Innovation will accelerate the clean energy revolution and create opportunities for Canadians for decades to come.
This performance report provides greater detail on all of these initiatives and many more, including completion of the restructuring of Atomic Energy Canada Limited, new offshore legislation and important collaboration with industry in mining, forestry and earth sciences. It also sets out a work plan to deliver results, ensure openness and provide opportunities for feedback.
More broadly, this report captures the work of NRCan at a critical moment in our history – a time when Canada is making the transition to a lower-carbon future while finding greener ways of developing our resources. In those efforts, it presents a department engaged with Canadians and the world, contributing to a brighter, cleaner and more prosperous future.
It’s an exciting time to be making a difference.
The Honourable James Gordon Carr, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Natural Resources
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