ARCHIVED - Responsible Resource Development

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Environmental Protection

The Government of Canada has made strides to enhance its world-class environmental protection regime and has realized tangible results. For example, from 2005 to 2011, Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 4.8 percent while the economy grew 8.4 percent. A total of 62 percent of Canada’s electricity is produced from renewable sources — the highest percentage in the G8. We are also continuing to make major inroads in reducing the environmental footprint of the oil sands. We achieved a 26% drop in greenhouse gas emissions per barrel between 1990 and 2011.

In addition, actions taken under the Government of Canada’s plan for Responsible Resource Development have:

Pipeline safety

  • Increased annual oil and gas pipeline inspections by 50 percent from 100 to 150;
  • Doubled the number of comprehensive audits annually;
  • Introduced a new financial penalty regime to promote compliance with environmental laws in the pipeline sector, with fines ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 per day;
  • Announced legislative measures that would require all major crude oil pipeline operators to have minimum financial capability of $1 billion to address damage in the unlikely event of an incident.

Marine safety

  • Introduced numerous measures to enhance tanker safety, including double hulls, increased inspections, advanced navigation equipment, and increased aerial surveillance and monitoring of ships; and
  • Created a Tanker Safety Expert Panel to review Canada’s current system and propose ways to enhance Canada’s tanker safety system, including emergency preparedness;

Aboriginal Engagement

Natural resource projects have the potential to create important new opportunities for Aboriginal Peoples. To better enable Aboriginal Peoples to take advantage of the opportunities associated with natural resource development, Budget 2013 provided over $600 million in support of Aboriginal education, skills development, and community infrastructure. These efforts will help ensure Aboriginal Canadians are positioned to share in the benefits offered by the development of our natural resources.

The Government is committed to building a stronger relationship with First Nations, to enable us to work together in a relationship of trust and respect to create economic opportunity for Aboriginal communities while protecting the environment and respecting Aboriginal rights.

Through its plan for Responsible Resource Development, the Government of Canada is dedicated to enhancing Aboriginal engagement and consultation as part of our commitment to respecting Aboriginal Peoples’ rights as we move forward with the development of our natural resources. This includes:

  • Integrating consultation into the project review process to ensure early consideration of potential impacts to Aboriginal or treaty rights before decisions are made;
  • Designating a lead department or agency to coordinate consultations for each project review;
  • Providing additional funding of $13.6 million over two years to support Aboriginal consultations on projects; and
  • Developing consultation memoranda of understanding and protocols with provinces and Aboriginal groups to align processes and clarify expectations.

Energy Facts and Figures

  • Canada currently has only one customer for its oil and gas exports -  100% of our natural gas exports and 99% of our oil exports go south of the border.
  • The U.S. is projected to become the world’s biggest producer of oil. According to the IEA’s 2013 World Energy Outlook, it is expected to overtake Russia and Saudi Arabia by 2016. 
  • According to their Department of Energy, America will need to import 7.4 million barrels a day in 2035.
  • As incomes around the world rise, people buy more things that consume energy.  The result will be a 35% increase in energy demand by 2035.
  • Even under the most optimistic scenario for the development of alternative fuels, the fact is that fossil fuels — oil, natural gas and coal — will continue to account for almost 2/3 of global energy demand in 2035. More likely, the number will be 3/4.
  • Resource industries currently generate over $30 billion in royalties and taxes for critical social programs like health care, housing and education.
Media may contact: 

David Provencher
Press Secretary
Office of Canada's Minister of Natural Resources


Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada