ARCHIVED - Minister Oliver Discusses Securing Canada’s Economic and Environmental Future

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December 4, 2013

VANCOUVER — The Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resource, today delivered keynote remarks hosted by the Vancouver Board of Trade. Minister Oliver highlighted how our government’s plan for Responsible Resource Development is enhancing environmental protection, strengthening relationships with Aboriginal Peoples and securing Canada’s long-term economic future.

“Our government’s plan for Responsible Resource Development is an inclusive plan for securing Canada’s prosperity for future generations,” said Minister Oliver. “Through meaningful action that enhances safety of the environment all Canadians will benefit from the opportunity of reaching new markets for our vast energy resources.”

Resource development in British Columbia currently accounts for close to 125,000 jobs and 10 percent of its economy, generating billions of dollars that fund critical social programs such as health care, housing and education.

Our plan for Responsible Resource Development is ensuring the development of our natural resources is done in an environmentally responsible way and that Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples are fully engaged in the process.

As part of the plan to strengthen Canada’s commitment to environmental protection and be a world leader in marine safety, the Government of Canada created a Tanker Safety Expert Panel in March 2013 to review the current system and propose new ways to make Canada’s tanker safety system even better.

This panel conducted an evidence-based review and assessment of Canada’s tanker safety system and proposed further measures to strengthen it in a report that was released on December 3, 2013. The panel’s recommendations will help guide the government’s efforts to ensure Canada has a fully integrated world-class tanker safety system.  

We are committed to building a system that is world-class in terms of preventing any marine accident in the first instance, responding in the unlikely event there is an accident, and respecting the principle of polluter pays throughout this system

The natural resources sector is a leading private employer of Aboriginal People in Canada. In 2012, it employed more than 32,000 Aboriginal workers. Through its plan for Responsible Resource Development, the Government of Canada is enhancing Aboriginal engagement and consultation as part of our commitment to respecting Aboriginal Peoples’ rights.

Last March, Prime Minister Harper appointed Doug Eyford as the Special Federal Representative to First Nations for West Coast Energy Infrastructure issues. Mr. Eyford has been engaging Aboriginal Peoples to identify issues related to their participation in energy infrastructure developments.

The government has received Mr. Eyford’s final report and will tomorrow be sharing the findings and recommendations with Canadians. We will be reviewing them carefully and discussing them with Aboriginal communities and then taking action.

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