Within the Government of Canada, Minister Joe Oliver is responsible for the activities of the Department of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). In his capacity as Minister, he also has responsibility for the Natural Resources portfolio, which includes the following:
- one Crown Corporation: Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL);
- two independent regulators: the National Energy Board (NEB) and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC);
- two offshore petroleum boards: the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB) and the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB);
- a not-for-profit foundation: Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC); and
- two boards that report to the Minister as required: the Energy Supplies Allocation Board (ESAB) and the Northern Pipeline Agency (NPA).
While each portfolio agency has a unique mandate, organizational form, reporting regime and corporate culture, they all share some important goals, including service to Canadians, service to the Minister, and accountability to Parliament. The Minister’s specific relationship vis-à-vis each agency varies according to statute, though normally it includes such things as:
- reporting to Parliament on behalf of the institution;
- recommending board appointments to the Governor in Council;
- approval of Treasury Board submissions; and
- making recommendations to the Governor in Council.
NRCan has a responsibility to create a sustainable resource advantage for Canadians – now and in the future. Attaining this vision requires collective efforts on the part of all stakeholders in natural resources from coast to coast. Each portfolio agency plays an important and unique role to help ensure a strong resource future for Canadians through promoting growth, competitiveness and environmental leadership.
Improving Portfolio Coordination
The department recently created a dedicated portfolio management function located within the new Public Affairs and Portfolio Management Sector (PAPMS). The Portfolio and Consultation/Engagement Management Branch strives to improve the way that Natural Resources Canada works collaboratively with the various portfolio partners. The Branch provides strategic advice to portfolio agencies, the Minister of Natural Resources, and the department and coordinates activities that have cross-portfolio implications.