ARCHIVED - Minister Oliver Highlights Economic Impact of Canada’s Natural Resources

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TORONTO — The Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, today unveiled updated figures highlighting the significant contributions of the natural resources sector to the Canadian economy.

The new figures, generated by Natural Resources Canada using the latest Statistics Canada data, enable a better understanding of this economic impact by taking into account the value of goods and services purchased by the natural resources sector from other industries. This analysis also offers a more comprehensive account of the number of jobs supported by the sector.

“In addition to the approximately 800,000 Canadians directly employed in the natural resource sector, another 800,000 people across Canada in every province and territory are employed by industries serving the sector,” said Minister Oliver. “Put that together and you have close to 1.6 million jobs that depend on natural resources — about 10 per cent of all the jobs in Canada. This truly demonstrates the expansive impact this sector has on the Canadian economy.”

Newly estimated numbers demonstrate that, together, the energy, mining and forestry sectors directly account for 15 per cent of Canada's nominal GDP in 2011. In addition, the sector’s purchases of goods and services in other sectors of the economy represent approximately another 4 per cent of nominal GDP, meaning that the natural resources sector drives almost 20 per cent of economic activity in Canada. All of this results in billions of dollars a year in government revenues for health care, education and other vital services that are a fundamental part of our quality of life.

The analysis shows not only how vital natural resources are to the Canadian economy but also the long-term potential of the sector, which will be one of the key drivers of new jobs over the next decade.

“There are currently over 600 major Canadian resource projects planned over the next 10 years or underway representing approximately $650 billion in investments,” said Minister Oliver. “This is a more accurate picture of resource related investments from a year ago, and represents an unparalleled opportunity for Canada.”

In order to capitalize on these investments and to unleash the potential of our resource sectors to create good jobs across Canada, the Harper Government has put in place a plan for Responsible Resource Development. The plan is based on four main pillars: making project reviews more predictable and timely; reducing duplication of project reviews; strengthening environmental protection; and enhancing consultations with Aboriginal peoples.

The Harper Government recognizes the importance of Canada’s natural resources industry and will ensure that it remains strong and globally competitive, resulting in jobs, growth and prosperity.

Media may contact: 

Carly Wolff
Press Secretary
Natural Resources Canada


Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada

The general public may contact: 

Mon.–Fri., 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. EDT
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The following media backgrounder is available at:

  1. Economic Impact of Canada’s Natural Resources Sector