ARCHIVED - Minister Oliver Highlights the Importance of Responsible Resource Development to the Canadian Economy

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September 18, 2013
CALGARY — Today, the Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, discussed important actions resulting from the Government’s work on engaging Canadians to increase jobs, energy security and environmental stewardship. Minister Oliver delivered his remarks at Google’s ThinkEnergy! Summit. “Canada must diversify its energy markets, since virtually all of our oil and gas exports go to the United States, whose recent discoveries mean it will need Canadian resources less in the future,” said Minister Oliver. “Our plan for Responsible Resource Development involves meaningful engagement with Canadians across our country to enhance Canadian jobs, energy security and the environment.” This critical dialogue supports 1.8 million Canadian jobs, almost a fifth of our country’s economy, $30 billion in revenue to governments to support critical social programs and over half of our exports. Experts have found that resource development has positive benefits across our country, including indirect jobs in manufacturing and other industries. However, we have been clear — no project can be approved unless it can be proven to be safe for the environment. The Government’s actions to date include:
  • Introducing new fines — that have come into force — that will preventively address contraventions to environmental laws in the pipeline sector quickly so larger issues do not arise in the future, these fines can range from $25,000 to a maximum of $100,000 per day;
  • Increasing annual oil and gas pipeline inspections by 50 percent and doubling comprehensive audits of pipelines;
  • Creating a Tanker Safety Expert Panel that will review Canada’s current system and propose new ways to bring Canada’s tanker safety system to world-class status;
  • Legislative measures that would require a minimum financial capability of $1 billion for all major crude oil pipelines;
  • Legislative measures that would increase in absolute liability for companies operating in Canada's Atlantic and Arctic offshore to $1 billion; and
  • Appointing a Special Federal Representative who will report to the Prime Minister on key issues regarding Aboriginal participation in the development of the West Coast’s energy infrastructure.
Canada is the first country in the world with regulations banning the construction of new coal-fired power plants that use traditional technology. Canada also now requires all existing coal plants to shut down on a schedule that reflects their economic life — the first country in the world to do so. To address emissions in the transportation sector, the government put in place regulations to reduce emissions from light- and heavy-duty vehicles. It committed to introducing new GHG regulations for the oil and gas sector. Once these regulations are in place, Canada will be one of a handful of oil exporters with national binding regulations on its oil and gas sector. The Government of Canada will continue work with all stakeholders, including provincial and territorial governments and Aboriginal groups, to balance economic, social and environmental considerations in the development of Canada’s energy resources.
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