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Section I: Overview

Minister's Message

The Honourable Joe Oliver, P.C., M.P., Minister of Natural Resources

I am pleased to present the Departmental Performance Report for Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) for the reporting period ending March 31, 2012.

Canada has emerged from the global economic downturn in a strong and competitive position, ready to face the future. Implementation of the Government’s Economic Action Plan helped position the country’s natural resource sectors to increase business investment, create high-paying jobs for Canadians, and contribute to overall economic benefits. Over the past year, Canada’s natural resource sectors played a vital role in our economy. The energy, mining and forest sectors directly and indirectly drive almost 20 percent of Canada’s economic activity. They also provide 10 percent of the jobs in Canada by employing 800,000 Canadians, with an additional 800,000 people employed by industries that service these sectors.

At the moment there are well over 600 major resource projects under way or planned across Canada, representing a potential investment of close to $650 billion over the next 10 years. These projects will benefit communities large and small, and promise jobs, opportunities and better lives for Aboriginal Canadians, for young people looking to start a career in the skilled trades, and for small businesses that support the development of natural resource sectors. With the launch of the plan for Responsible Resource Development, the Government of Canada has moved toward a more effective and efficient regulatory process for these major resource projects. The goal is one project, one review, in a defined timeline. These efforts will help Canada develop its tremendous natural resources for the benefit of Canadians from coast to coast to coast while also strengthening our world-class environmental protection regime.

We have also helped to expand markets and diversify global partnerships by promoting Canada as a responsible and reliable natural resource supplier and by helping wood producers diversify their export markets to key economies, such as China, Japan, India and South Korea. In addition, the Government continued to promote and accelerate energy efficiency activities and the development of innovative energy technologies.

Investments in innovation helped industry to develop new forest products and mining processes and to advance technologies that improve the environmental performance of Canada’s natural resource sectors. In Canada’s North, geo-mapping and geoscience work contributed to prosperity and job creation, particularly in the mining sector. NRCan also provided expertise for Canada’s efforts to support our sovereignty in the Arctic.

I am proud of the integral role NRCan has played this year in advancing the Government’s key priorities particularly as they relate to jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for all Canadians. The Government will continue to secure Canada’s economic and environmental progress through the responsible development of our natural resources.

The Honourable Joe Oliver
Minister of Natural Resources

Section I: Organizational Overview

Raison d’être

NRCan’s vision is to improve the quality of life of Canadians by creating a sustainable resource advantage. It seeks to achieve this vision by working to improve the competitiveness of the natural resource sectors and to grow their contribution to Canada’s economy; by supporting the sustainable development of Canada’s resources in a manner that advances the country’s global standing as a leader on the environment; and by using its knowledge and expertise of Canada’s landmass to support the safety and security of citizens.


The Minister of Natural Resources is specifically responsible for, or has responsibilities under, more than 30 Acts of Parliament1. The Minister's core powers, duties and functions are set forth in the Department of Natural Resources Act2, the Resources and Technical Surveys Act3, and the Forestry Act4. NRCan also works in areas of shared responsibility with the provinces.

Within the Government of Canada, the Minister of Natural Resources also has responsibilities for the natural resources portfolio5, which includes the following:

To deliver on its responsibilities, NRCan relies on a number of tools. It uses science and technology (S&T) to help address priorities and plan for the future. It develops policies, programs, and regulations that help create a sustainable resource advantage, supporting strong, competitive natural resource sectors that are environmentally and socially responsible. And it uses partnerships and international collaboration to help drive progress on natural resource issues important to Canadians.

Strategic Outcomes and Program Activity Architecture

As outlined in its 2011-12 Program Activity Architecture (PAA), NRCan managed its program delivery through three Strategic Outcomes and seven Program Activities designed to achieve expected results, support Government of Canada priorities, and deliver benefits to Canadians.

Program Activity Architecture Diagram

[Text Version - Program Activity Architecture]

NRCan’s activities also contribute to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS), which has four themes as indicated by the legend below.*

Theme ITheme IITheme IIITheme IV

Following the publication of NRCan’s 2011-12 Report on Plans and Priorities14, NRCan’s 2011-12 Program Activity Architecture was revised. Sub-sub-activities that better reflect the scope of its programs were created. This first review led to more substantial changes to its PAA for 2012-13. In addition, key performance indicators (for both the strategic outcome and program activity levels) were updated to better measure and report on results of the NRCan’s programs. Any changes to performance indicators have been identified by a footnote in this report.

* For further details please consult the section on NRCan’s “Contributions to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy” .

Organizational Priorities

NRCan’s 2011-12 Report on Plans and Priorities15 identified six (6) priorities seen as critical to meeting the Department’s Strategic Outcomes and supporting the Government of Canada’s priorities. Together, these priorities have guided the Department’s policy direction, science and technology initiatives, and program development and delivery. NRCan also successfully delivered on the Government of Canada’s Economic Action Plan16 .

The success in delivering each priority is determined by asses sing achievements against plans and commitments presented in the 2011-12 Report on Plans and Priorities.

Improving the Performance of the Regulatory System for Project Reviews Previously
PAA Linkages:
Strategic Outcome 3

Major resource projects are an important driver of long-term economic growth and job creation for Canada. A federal review process for major resource projects that is timely, predictable, transparent and accountable is critical to the resource sectors’ ability to secure investments for resource development, while maintaining strong environmental protection for Canada. All commitments that support this priority have been completed.

Key achievements for this priority in 2011-12

  • Through the Major Projects Management Office17 advanced the development of a suite of legislative, regulatory and policy measures aimed at delivering predictable and timely project reviews, reduced duplication, strengthened environmental protection and enhanced Aboriginal consultations for major project reviews. These measures are a key part of the Government’s plan for Responsible Resource Development 18, announced in Budget 2012, and modernization of Canada’s regulatory system.
  • Provided overall management of the federal regulatory review process for 74 major resource projects, which represented approximately $185 billion of potential new investment in Canada. This included several high-profile projects such as theNorthern Gateway Pipeline19, New Prosperity Gold-Copper Mine20, Pierre River Oil Sands Minet21, and Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Generation22.
  • Developed project agreements (PAs) for all MPMO projects undergoing a federal regulatory review to ensure timely, integrated and well-coordinated environmental assessments and regulatory decision-making, including standards related to Aboriginal consultation responsibilities. Project agreement timelines were reduced by 50%, to 23 weeks, compared to 2008-09.
  • Maintained robust tracking, monitoring, reporting and issue resolution mechanisms on MPMO projects to ensure target timelines and service standards were maintained, which resulted in exceeding the service standard of completing 80% of reviews within 8 weeks of their target timelines. Overall, project reviews have been reduced, on average, from 4 years to 22 months.
  • Worked collaboratively with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, to support the development of a suite of policy proposals designed to improve northern regulatory regimes and align policy approaches both North and South of the 60th parallel.
  • Completed a horizontal evaluation23 of the Major Projects Management Office Initiative with partner departments and agencies in March 2012. The extensive evaluation found that there was a continued need for the central coordination function performed by the MPMO. The 8 recommendations from the process will be addressed by all implicated departments based on the developed action plan.

Enabling Competitive Resource Sectors Previously Committed Priority PAA Linkages:
Strategic Outcomes 1, 2 and 3

The current and future competitiveness of Canada’s natural resource sectors is dependent on their ability to access markets, increase investments and develop innovative products and processes. Competitive sectors mean jobs and growth in Canada. All commitments that support this priority have been completed.

Several forest-related initiatives received funding in Budget 2011. These initiatives (i.e., Transformative Technologies Program24.(TTP), the Value to Wood Program25 (VWP), the Canada Wood Export Program26 (CWEP), and the North American Wood First Initiative27 (NAWFI)) encourage a competitive forest sector in Canada by supporting forest product innovation to transition away from volume-based commodities towards a more diversified, higher-value product mix as well as encourage market diversification.* Work also included the promotion of Canada’s leadership in sustainable forest management in both international and domestic markets.

Commitments related to earth sciences and minerals and metals were also met in 2011-12. These included the signing of collaboration agreements with academia and industry as part of the Targeted Geoscience Initiative 428. (TGI-4) and the completion and publishing of a number of reports and web products, including through the Green Mining Initiative29.

Key achievements for this priority in 2011-12

  • Contributed in 2011 to a 73.9% increase in wood exports to China (valued at $1.45 billion) and a 39.9% increase in exports to Korea (valued at $202 million) through the Canada Wood Export Program.
  • Influenced the choice of wood in more than 350 non-residential building projects through the North American Wood First Initiative. This represented $130 million in wood sales for Canada’s wood products sector.
  • Provided more than 20 science-based information products, through the Leadership for Environmental Advantage in Forestry Initiative, to forest sector stakeholders (e.g., Canadian wood product producers and related industry associations) that address key environmental reputation and market acceptance issues both domestically and internationally.
  • Signed 8 collaborative agreements with academia and industry partners, as part of the Targeted Geoscience Initiative 4, which generated new geoscience knowledge in support of mineral exploration.
  • Delivered more than 50 presentations on geophysical, geochemical and geological results based on TGI-4 results at provincial and territorial open houses and at international conferences (e.g., the Cordilleran Roundup in Vancouver and Prospectors and Developers Convention in Toronto). These presentations highlighted new ore system knowledge and tools developed by TGI-4.
  • Completed and published a report entitled Taxation of Mineral Income 2012 – How Canada Compares30 , which was tabled at the Energy and Mines Ministers Conference 2011 and uploaded to the NRCan website in June. NRCan also published a series of timely and topical web products including Canada’s Positive Investment Climate for Mineral Capital31 (October 2011), The Geographic Distribution of Canada’s Mining Assets32 (January 2012), and Canadian Mineral Exploration and Deposit Appraisal33 (February 2012) bulletins, effectively replacing the Overview of Trends in Canadian Mineral Exploration publication.
  • Advanced green mining innovation in areas ranging from deep mining risk reduction to innovative technologies for mine worker safety. Through the Green Mining Initiative, 123 R&D publications on environmental technologies, including technical reports, cost recovery reports, presentations and journal publications were published; 20 projects were completed with industry and government stakeholders on green mining; and 16 projects were completed on ground control, safe mining or innovative projects.

* Budget 2012 provided further support for the forest sector under two initiatives: (1) Expanding Market Opportunities Program, which combined the Canada Wood Export and the North American Wood First programs and activities previously delivered under the Leadership for Environmental Advantage in Forestry; and (2) Forest Innovation Program, which combined support for transformative technologies previously delivered through the Promoting Forest Innovation and Investment Program and the Value to Wood Program.

Advancing Clean Energy Previously Committed Priority PAA Linkages:
Strategic Outcomes 1 and 2

Energy is a significant segment of the economy and Canada’s leading export. NRCan supports a clean energy transition by delivering programs that encourage the adoption of energy-efficient and renewable and alternative energy products and processes by consumers and industries as well as the development of new clean energy technologies. NRCan’s clean energy programming (ecoENERGY34 programs) was renewed in Budget 2011.

Key achievements for this priority in 2011-12

  • Improved energy efficiency in Canada, through the renewed ecoENERGY Efficiency35 and ecoENERGY for Retrofit – Homes36 programs, which resulted in energy savings in 2011-12 of 5 Petajoules and more than 4 Petajoules respectively.
  • Established and maintained a number of partnerships with industry and provincial stakeholders through contracts and contribution agreements to cost-share clean-energy technology projects. This included:
    • Co-funding five teams through the Equilibrium Communities Initiative37 with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to improve community-scale designs and planning, through reductions in energy demand, the use of waste heat and water reductions.
    • Collaborating with the University of Waterloo and leading industrial partners (Cosma and Meridian) to design, build and test a lightweight structure for vehicles to promote energy fuel efficiency and test safety.
    • Developing a biomass gasification-based burner that meets the majority of specified industrial process requirements. The next phase will focus on detailed feasibility analysis and testing with two Canadian iron ore company partners.
    • Collaborating with other government departments and international partners to develop materials for the next generation nuclear reactor systems (GEN IV). This led to the development of new material for cleaner high-temperature energy systems.
    • Completing, as part of the contribution agreement with TransAlta Corporation, Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) studies, a proposed integrated carbon capture and storage project in the area of coal fired electricity. The results of the FEED studies add to the knowledge base for regulatory development and technology application as it pertains to carbon capture and storage in the coal-fired electricity sector.
  • Monitored current and new projects related to clean energy science and technology, as well as geoscience, and ensuring results were achieved, including through:
    • Signing a contribution agreement with SaskPower to reduce the cost and increase the efficiency of carbon capture and storage for applications in coal-fired electricity.
    • Making significant progress toward completion of the Best Practices Manual under the International Energy Agency GHG Weyburn-Midale CO2 Monitoring and Storage Project. Once complete, it will provide practical protocols for the design, implementation, monitoring, and verification of CO2 geological storage projects as well as effective public consultation and outreach processes.
    • Publishing a report with industry and academia titled Geothermal Energy Resource Potential of Canada38 on the potential of geothermal energy.
    • Developing the Marine Renewable Energy Technology Roadmap39, unveiled at the 2011 Ocean Renewable Energy Group annual conference, which has successfully brought together key stakeholders to develop a vision and strategy for Canada’s marine renewable energy sector.
  • Enabled the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program40 to exceed its targets for renewable energy production and energy efficiency improvements by signing contribution agreements for an additional 21 projects. In total, this program funds 98 projects at 43 mills across Canada and is expected to add nearly 200 MW of capacity to generate renewable electricity and save 8.5 GJ million of energy annually.

Managing Nuclear Issues Ongoing Priority PAA Linkages:
Strategic Outcomes 1 and 2

Nuclear energy plays a critical role in Canada’s energy mix. Managing nuclear issues is based on established policy objectives, involving meeting Canada's energy and environmental needs safely, economically and reliably, reducing costs and risks for taxpayers, while maximizing returns on Canada's investments in nuclear, and positioning Canada's nuclear industry to seize domestic and global opportunities.

Key achievements for this priority in 2011-12

  • Continued to implement the restructuring of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) to reduce taxpayers' exposure to commercial risks and costs while positioning Canada's nuclear industry to take maximum advantage of domestic and international opportunities. This included:
    • Completing the divestiture of AECL’s CANDU Reactor Division in October 2011. Through the sale to Candu Energy Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin, the Government of Canada delivered on its objectives to achieve the best deal possible for AECL’s commercial arm, its employees, the nuclear industry and Canadians.
    • Making progress towards the restructuring of AECL’s Nuclear Laboratories.
  • Supported the development of non-reactor-based technologies for the production of medical isotopes through the Non-reactor-based Isotope Supply Contribution Program (NISP). More than 30 partnerships were financed through the NISP and the program resulted in alternative technologies moving closer to commercialization.*
  • Met 17 milestones for the Nuclear Legacy Liabilities Program41 (NLLP), two of which were ahead of schedule. Two facilities related to this project were completed, which will improve the management and storage of degraded spent fuel and low-level radioactive waste. Three decommissioned buildings will allow for the shut-down of another facility by March 2014.
  • Received $1.28 billion in funding and approvals for the implementation phase for the Port Hope Area Initiative42 (PHAI). This phase involves the clean-up of historic radioactive wastes through the construction of new waste management facilities and the transfer and transportation of wastes to these facilities. It will be carried out through two projects, the Port Hope Project, for which the first three implementation stages have been approved, and the Port Granby Project, for which implementation has been fully approved and licensed.

* Budget 2012 provided funding to support the development of new technologies for the production of medical isotopes and to help replace reactor-based isotope supplies.

Advancing Sustainable Resource
Development in the North
Ongoing Priority PAA Linkages:
Strategic Outcome 1 and 3

The development of Canada’s North will allow Canadians to realize the vast potential of this region, ensuring prosperity and job creation for Northern communities and strengthening Canada’s sovereignty while creating a sustainable resource future for generations of Canadians.

Key achievements for this priority in 2011-12

  • Worked with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) in support of the Government of Canada's Northern Strategy to develop mineral resource development blueprints (MRDBs). MRDBs are regional action plans, produced through a robust multi-stakeholder dialogue process, that identify how to overcome barriers to development, manage environmental and social risks, and help communities to seize opportunities. This work is supported through a geospatial platform tool and the federal-provincial-territorial Advanced Minerals Projects Inventory (AMPI).
  • Conducted high-resolution geophysical surveys to fill knowledge gaps and provide governments, communities and industry with fundamental geoscience required to make strategic investment decisions in new energy and mineral resources in the North through NRCan’s Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals43 (GEM) program; released 4 geophysical compilations, 27 bedrock geology maps, and geochemical data from 3 areas in Nunavut and 1 in British Columbia. In addition, 6 airborne surveys were conducted.
  • Met annual obligations for land claim surveys, including the survey of 97 kilometres of boundary for the Tlicho Land Claim and 427 kilometres of boundaries for 14 parcels pursuant to the Yukon Land Claims Agreement.
  • Worked towards meeting NRCan’s December 2013 deadline for the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) program. The coordinates in the Atlantic are being reviewed and those in the Arctic are in progress.
  • Completed topographic mapping of Canada at the 1:50,000 scale through compiling 520 new maps and 92 revisited maps covering parts of Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
  • Partnered with the Northern Projects Management Office, through MPMO, to improve the consistency of project management approaches both North and South of 60.

Integrated Management Ongoing Priority PAA Linkages:
Program Activity 4.1

Timely and cost-effective internal services are critical to support the performance of the overall organization.

Key achievements for this priority in 2011-12

  • Implemented a new governance structure with clear accountabilities to support thorough planning and reporting. As well, NRCan implemented a Science and Technology (S&T) Board, which includes external advisors, to ensure oversight and implementation of the department’s S&T Strategy.
  • Implemented a renewed Program Activity Architecture, Performance Measurement Framework, and Integrated Risk Management Policy Framework supported by the Corporate Risk Profile.
  • Supported the improvement of business processes for financial, materiel and project management through implementation of a new financial system (SAP) in partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
  • Ensured strategic recruitment efforts in 2011-12, given the current and forecasted budgetary context. Based on rigorous staffing plans, recruitment was targeted to highly specialized professionals to address immediate capacity gaps.
  • Implemented a talent management approach for all employees with a focus on strengthening the department’s Employee Performance Management Program.
  • Developed NRCan’s Values and Ethics Code, launched in April 2012 in conjunction with the release of the new federal Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service44 .
  • Continued to implement the 2011-14 Official Languages Action Plan through designating sector champions, reminding employees of their rights and responsibilities, and offering tools and resources within NRCan to support compliance with the Official Languages Act45. The 2012-15 Employment Equity Action Plan was also approved and is being implemented by incorporating an employment equity lens in various HR management approaches and planning processes.
  • Implemented a re-engineered Access to Information46 process to ensure timely and continuous review of active requests and, if necessary, to resolve delays to ensure processing time commitments are met; 97% of NRCan’s Access to Information requests were completed on time in 2011-12.
  • Contributed to the government’s efforts to return to a balanced budget by identifying cost-saving and business transformation measures.

Risk Analysis

As a large and diverse organization, NRCan prepares for and manages a wide range of risks. The Department’s approach to risk management is outlined in its Integrated Risk Management Policy Framework, which is based on the recognition that a solid understanding of the risk environment is key to achieving its strategic outcomes. High-level strategic/external and operational risks are presented in NRCan’s Corporate Risk Profile, which is monitored and updated regularly. As well, each of NRCan’s sectors has in place a Sector Risk Profile that is updated at least annually.

In 2011-12, the successful management of key operational risks led to strong program performance. For example, the divestiture of AECL’s CANDU Reactor Division helped mitigate important risks for the Government and represented a significant deliverable for NRCan in achieving its outcomes.

The Department also managed a number of risks to ensure that Canada’s natural resource sectors remained competitive. Natural resources are a key economic driver for Canada and play a fundamental role in Canada’s economy. While the global economic outlook remained uncertain in 2011-12, Canada was in a strong fiscal position relative to other G8 countries, due in part to the country’s large and diverse natural resource endowment and its stable investment climate. Canada’s resource endowment and production is far larger than its domestic demand; as a result, economic growth and resource-based prosperity is supported by strong global demand for natural resources.

In 2011-12, NRCan worked to help the natural resource sectors face the uncertain economic outlook abroad (e.g., slower-than-anticipated economic growth in the United States, fragile economic growth in Europe) and to strengthen their resiliency and competitiveness. The Department delivered on the Government’s Economic Action Plan47 (EAP). Specifically, Budget 2011 provided NRCan with new funding authorities:

  • Close to $100 million over 2 years for research, development and demonstrations of clean energy and energy efficiency;
  • $60 million to support the forest sector’s transformation and to help forest companies innovate and tap into new opportunities abroad;
  • $86 million over 2 years for clean energy regulatory actions, with a focus on energy efficiency;
  • Up to $400 million for the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program to help homeowners make their homes more energy-efficient and reduce the burden of high energy costs; and
  • Renewed funding for climate change adaptation and international climate change activities, including the Canada-US Clean Energy Dialogue48 in collaboration with Environment Canada.

Natural Resources and Canada’s Economy

  • Canada’s natural resources sector – energy, minerals and metals, and forestry accounted for 15% of Canada’s total economic activity in 2011.
  • In 2011, the natural resources sector directly employed close to 800,000 Canadians across the country.
  • Through the purchase of goods and services, the natural resources sector drives in part the GDP of other sectors (e.g. construction, machinery, professional services). This indirect contribution is estimated at approximately 4% of nominal GDP and about 800,000 jobs in other sectors of the economy in 2011.

While these reaffirm NRCan’s role in delivering on the Government’s agenda, the Department has had to manage risks associated with the diligent and timely implementation of the new and renewed programs funded in 2011. The timing of the launch of some key programs affected, in some cases, the pace at which projects involving partnerships could be implemented. For instance some joint research, development, and demonstration projects were delayed. NRCan managed these program-related risks by monitoring program updates and spending profiles and ensuring that the performance targets for its programs would be met over the longer term lifespan of programs. Quarterly financial and non-financial reviews served to inform senior management of changes and to facilitate re-allocation decisions when warranted.

NRCan continued to manage capacity-related risks. The Department manages several high-profile programs that have a limited lifespan, including large grants and contributions programs. Furthermore, as a science-based department, NRCan manages significant capital assets and highly qualified personnel in an environment where objectives may be achieved on a long time span, but where funding is time-limited and can fluctuate. While this ensures that NRCan’s programs are reviewed on a regular basis and that any new programs are aligned to the Government’s priorities, managing in this context brings about some risks related to workforce and capacity management.

To respond to this, NRCan took several measures to ensure that its resources were allocated where most needed. A full review of corporate risks was completed, and a comprehensive planning process served to align resource to priorities and to establish clear performance targets. A number of workforce and workplace initiatives were also put in place, such as the implementation of a departmental approach to talent management for all employees, including an employee performance management program, and the targeting of recruitment activities towards highly specialized professionals to address immediate capacity gaps.

NRCan took a series of steps to ensure the smooth implementation and deployment of a new financial management system, including the selection of an already-established system through a partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, based on a strong project management governance regime and extensive training program. The project received the Award of Excellence for Comptrollership in the Public Sector.

Summary of Performance

Departmental Overview

2011–12 Financial Resources ($ millions)
Planned Spending Total Authorities* Actual Spending*
Program Spending 1,910.2 2,659.1 2,129.4
Statutory Programs - Atlantic Offshore Accords 1,613.9 1,222.7 1,222.7
TOTAL 3,524.0 3,881.9 3,352.2

* Excludes amount deemed appropriated to Shared Services Canada, if applicable.
** Totals in this section may not add up due to rounding.

NRCan's Planned Spending of $3.52 billion was adjusted over the 2011-12 period to $3.88 billion to reflect the increased authorities granted in Budget 2011. This increase included funding for the Clean Energy programs including the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes, Transformative Technologies Program, the Value to Wood Program, the Canada Wood Export Program, the North American Wood First Initiative, and the Nuclear Legacy Liabilities Program. The payments to the Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Resource Revenue Fund were lower than forecasted due to changes in the anticipated crude oil prices for 2011-12.

NRCan's Actual Spending of $3.35 billion resulted in a lapse of $529.7 million, primarily due to a lapse in the Grants and Contributions Vote related to ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes and ecoENERGY for Biofuels49 programs. As well, some portions of the Grants and Contributions vote were reprofiled to future years for the Clean Energy Fund50, Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s*Next Generation Biofuels Fund51 and Investments in Forest Industry Transformation Program52 (IFIT). There were also various items reprofiled in the Operating Vote.

2011-12 Human Resources (FTEs)
Planned Actual Difference
4389 4571 182

* Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) is an arm’s length organization created by the Government of Canada to demonstrate new technologies to promote sustainable development, including technologies to address issues related to climate change and the quality of air, water and soil.

Performance by Strategic Outcome

Strategic Outcome 1: Natural resource sectors are internationally competitive, economically productive and contribute to the social well-being of Canadians
Performance Indicator Targets Results
Canada's share of resource-based world trade (rank position). Favourable 5-year trend in rank position based on the Trade Performance Index (TPI).

Canada’s ranking relative to other countries has improved slightly from the 2006 to 2010 period with respect to wood, wood products and paper (the most recent year for which data are available). With respect to minerals, Canada’s ranking relative to other countries has decreased somewhat.

Energy exports grew by 19.7% in 2011 from 2010 to $109.5 billion, or 26.1% of total merchandise trade. Mineral and metal processing industries in Canada grew their exports by 20% between 2010 and 2011, accounting for 23% of merchandise exports. Minerals and metals were Canada’s leading export to China, making up more than a third of exports to that country. The United States remains Canada’s most important trade partner, particularly in energy and forest-related products. China is now Canada’s second most important trading partner.

The Trade Performance Index (TPI) is defined and reported by the International Trade Centre (ITC) of UNCTAD/WTO. The ITC recently revised its methodology resulting in changes to previously reported rankings.

Program Activity 2010-11
2011-12 ($ millions) Alignment to Government of Canada Outcomes53
1.1 Economic Opportunities for Natural Resources 2,352.0 1,799.3 1,799.3 1,481.1 1,439.5 Strong Economic Growth
1.2 Natural resource-based communities* 12.7 0 0 0.1 0.02 Strong Economic Growth
Total - Strategic Outcome 2,364.7 1,799.3 1,799.3 1,481.3 1,439.5

*There are no activities to present in PA 1.2 as per the 2011-12 Report on Plans and Priorities. All activities under Strategic Outcome 1 were conducted in PA 1.1.

The variance between Planned Spending and Total Authorities is mainly attributable to adjustments of statutory payments under the Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Resource Revenue Fund.

Strategic Outcome 2: Canada is a world leader on environmental responsibility in the development and use of natural resources
Performance Indicator Target Results
A*.Change in Canadian greenhouse gas emissions, measured in megatonnes (Mt) of carbon dioxide equivalent. Canada's national target is a 17% reduction from 2005 levels by 2020.

Canada's Greenhouse gas emissions

[Text Version - Canada's Greenhouse gas emissions]

Based on the most recent National Inventory Report 1990-2010: Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks in Canada54 Canada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions decreased by 6.5% (48 Mt from 2005 to 2010). The largest emissions reductions came from electricity and heat generation, which dropped by 22 Mt, and from manufacturing, which decreased by 17 Mt (driven by the economic downturn), accounting for 35% and 46% of the overall decline, respectively.

The decline in emissions from electricity and heat generation is primarily the result of a reduction of electricity and heat generation from coal and oil, as well as improved energy efficiency. Electricity production from renewable sources is increasing, including the contribution from wind, tidal and solar sources.

GHG emissions from fossil fuel industries (oil, gas and coal) decreased about 5.5 Mt between 2005 and 2010, primarily due to a 17% decrease in natural gas production and an ongoing trend of declining production of conventional light and heavy crude oil. GHG emissions from the oil sands increased by 16 Mt from 2005 to 2010 due to an increase in production. However, since 1990, the industry has reduced its emissions per barrel of oil produced by 26%.

B*.Annual harvest of timber relative to the level of harvest deemed to be sustainable (Allowable Annual Cut55 - AAC). Stay within the upper limit of the supply line (AAC).

Annual harvest of timber relative to the level of harvest deemed to be sustainable

[Text Version]

Canada has 397.3 million hectares of forest and other wooded land, representing 40% of the country’s total area56 and 10% of the global forest cover57. It is harvesting timber in a sustainable manner, below the Allowable Annual Cut. Sustainable forest management is a continuous process in which forest management practices and policies evolve in response to scientific advances and public participation. Underpinning sustainable forest management is the objective of meeting society’s need for forest products, while at the same time protecting forest health and the environmental and social values derived from Canada’s forests58.

From 1990 until 2010, timber harvests in Canada were between 86% and 48% of the estimated supply of wood deemed sustainable for harvest. Canada’s wood supply has remained relatively stable since 1990 at an average of 242 million cubic metres. The total harvest volume reached a peak of 208 million cubic metres in 2004 and declined to a low of 117 million cubic metres in 2009, the smallest harvest since 1990.

The overall decline since 2004 in harvest is the result of economic factors, such as reduced demand for Canadian lumber because of the slowdown in the United States housing market, and reduced global demand for Canadian pulp and paper products.

* The indicator in the Report on Plans and Priorities was Favourable 5-year trend in petajoules (PJ) saved. This indicator is now used to measure performance at the Program Activity level in accordance with revisions made to NRCan’s Program Activity Architecture and is thus not appropriate to assess performance at the Strategic Outcome level. As such, it has been replaced with Change in Canadian greenhouse gas emissions, an indicator at the Strategic Outcome level.

* The indicator in the Report on Plans and Priorities wasFavourable long-term trend in number of publications.This indicator is a measure of output, which is no longer deemed appropriate for performance at the Strategic Outcome level. As such, it has been replaced with a performance indicator at the Strategic Outcome level.

Program Activity 2010-11
2011–1259 ($ millions) Alignment to Government of Canada Outcomes
2.1 Clean Energy 1,329.6 1,327.3 1,327.3 1,745.0 1,323.3 A Clean and Healthy Environment
2.2 Ecosystem Risk Management 198.3 87.0 87.0 226.7 199.1 A Clean and Healthy Environment
Total – Strategic Outcome 2 1,527.9 1,414.3 1,414.3 1,971.7 1,522.4

The variance between Planned Spending and Total Authorities is a result of Budget 2011, particularly the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes grant program of up to $400 million, and the Nuclear Legacy Liabilities Program. The variance between the Total Authorities and Actual Spending is mainly attributable to a Grants and Contributions Vote lapse related to ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes and ecoENERGY for Biofuels program. A further Grants and Contribution Vote lapse occurred in the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program and other ecoENERGY programs, and some funds related to the Clean Energy Fund and the Sustainable Development Technology Canada Next Generation Biofuels Fund were reprofiled into future years. An Operating Vote lapse was largely attributable to the Port Hope Area Initiative and ecoENERGY programs.

Strategic Outcome 3: Natural resource knowledge, landmass knowledge and management system strengthen the safety and security of Canadians and the stewardship of Canada’s natural resources and lands
Performance Indicators * Target Results
Contribution to the safety and security of Canadians, and the effectiveness of federal land stewardship and regulatory processes. Greater than 90% of landmass and natural hazard data meet timeliness and accessibility standards.

Service Quality for Geographic Information for Emergency Management, Planning, and Response

[Text Version]

From 2006-07 to 2011-12, NRCan consistently exceeded its 90% target for timeliness and accessibility of landmass and natural hazard system data, as indicators of the quality of its data and knowledge sharing. The provision of this information helps other levels of government, international government bodies, the private sector and professional organizations to prepare for and mitigate natural disasters and make decisions for the effective management of Canada’s natural resources and lands.

* The indicator in the Report on Plans and Priorities was Favourable long-term trend in number of publications.This indicator is a measure of output, which is no longer deemed appropriate for performance at the Strategic Outcome level. As such, it has been replaced with a performance indicator at the Strategic Outcome level.

Program Activity 2010-11
2011-12 ($ millions) Alignment to Government of Canada Outcomes
3.1 Adapting to a Changing Climate and Hazard Risk Management 60.8 63.6 63.6 55.4 50.8 An Innovative and Knowledge-based Economy
3.2 Natural Resource and Landmass Knowledge and Systems 95.5 84.4 84.4 94.2 87.2 An Innovative and Knowledge-based Economy
3.3 Geomatics Canada Revolving Fund -0.3 0 0 7.6 0.4 An Innovative and Knowledge-based Economy
Total – Strategic Outcome 3 156.0 148.0 148.0 157.2 138.4

Internal Services

Program Activity 2010–11
2011-12 ($ millions)
Total Actual
4.1 Internal Services 308.4 162.5 162.5 271.7 251.7

* Excludes amount deemed appropriated to Shared Services Canada, if applicable.

Contribution to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy

The Federal Sustainable Development Strategy60 fulfills the requirements of the Federal Sustainable Development Act61, as passed by Parliament in 2008, to make environmental decision-making more transparent and accountable to Parliament. It outlines the Government of Canada’s commitment to improving the transparency of environmental decision-making by articulating its key strategic environmental goals and targets. The FSDS brings together goals, targets, and implementation strategies organized under four themes:

Theme ITheme IITheme IIITheme IV

NRCan contributes to progress in all FSDS themes through its program activities as articulated by its Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy62. For details on the contribution of program activities to sustainable development, consult the Program Activity Architecture.

NRCan plays a key role in delivering on the Government’s Clean Air Agenda63 by leading on the Clean Energy component as well as contributing to adaptation and international engagement efforts such as the Canada-United States Clean Energy Dialogue64. In Budget 2011, the Government renewed its commitment to the Clean Air Agenda, as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, with a focus on regulatory actions to achieve real emissions reductions while maintaining Canada’s economic advantage.

""Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality

NRCan supports the goals of this theme, which are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change as well as to minimize the threats to air quality so that the air Canadians breathe is clean and supports healthy ecosystems. NRCan contributes to GHG mitigation and air quality through its Clean Energy programs (PAA 2.1), Ecosystem Risk Management (PAA 2.2), Adapting to a Changing Climate and Hazard Risk Management (PAA 3.1), and Economic Opportunities for Natural Resources (PAA 1.1) through forestry and international activities.

""Maintaining Water Quality and Availability

NRCan supports the goal to protect and enhance the quality of water so that it is clean, safe and secure for all Canadians and supports healthy ecosystems through activities under Radioactive Waste Management (PAA 2.2.4). NRCan also supports the goal to enhance information to ensure that Canadians can manage and use water resources in a manner consistent with the sustainability of the resource, through Groundwater Geoscience (PAA

""Protecting Nature

NRCan supports the goal to maintain productive and resilient ecosystems with the capacity to recover and adapt; and protect areas in ways that leave them unimpaired for present and future generations, through programming in Environmental Geoscience (PAA 2.2.3). NRCan also supports the goal that sustainable production and consumption of biological resources are within ecosystem limits through activities in Forest Ecosystem Science and Application (PAA 2.2.2).

Strategic Environmental Assessments

NRCan also ensures that environmental concerns are considered in its decision-making through Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs). During 2011-12, NRCan considered the environmental effects of initiatives subject to the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals65. Through the strategic environmental assessment process66, 45% of departmental initiatives were found to contribute to the above FSDS Themes, Goals and Targets, with the majority contributing to Themes I and II (the remaining 55% had no impacts or were not applicable to the FSDS).

Further information on the results of detailed strategic environmental assessments is available on the department’s website67. Additional details on NRCan’s activities to support sustainable development and strategic environmental assessments are also available on the department’s website68. For complete information on the FSDS, visit the Environment Canada website69.

Expenditure Profile

The graph below compares the Department’s seven-year spending trend for expenditures and illustrates changes in the department’s overall expenditures for the statutory programs and Canada’s Economic Action Plan initiatives.

Expenditure Profile

Text Version - Spending Trends

NRCan's total actual spending for 2011-12 was $3.35 billion. This included $1.22 billion for the statutory programs for the Atlantic Offshore Accords. Through the Accords, NRCan receives royalties for offshore oil and gas production and subsequently pays an equal amount to the provinces of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. As such, statutory payment obligations under the Nova Scotia70 and Newfoundland and Labrador71 Offshore Accord Acts are based primarily on oil and gas royalty revenues received and are affected by the price of oil and gas as well as production levels; therefore, the changes in spending for statutory programs are explained by the fluctuation of oil and gas prices and production levels.

NRCan's spending of $2.13 billion, net of statutory programs, is reflective of changes in funding for its programs and activities. For example, NRCan had higher funding levels in fiscal year 2009-10 and 2010-11 as a result of new funding provided under Canada’s Economic Action Plan. Differences in NRCan’s funding levels over the last three fiscal years are attributable to:

  • The delivery of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, with a number of programs that have sunset in 2010-11 or whose funding profile declined from fiscal year 2010-11 to 2011-12. Programs that have sunset or had a decline in funding include ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes, Expanding Market Opportunities, Promoting Forest Innovation and Investment and Modernizing Federal Laboratories. Others have been renewed as part of the Economic Action Plan such as the Clean Energy Fund and Investments in Forest Industry Transformation*.
  • In addition, a number of key NRCan programs that were originally part of the Economic Action Plan were renewed in fiscal year 2011-12 as part of the Government’s commitment to clean air and the forest sector. In 2011-12, this included funding of $69.7 million for the ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative72 (ecoEII) and ecoENERGY Efficiency programs; up to $400 million for a one-year extension of the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program; and $59.4 million for the Forest Innovation and the Expanding Market Opportunities programs.

*Please refer to the end of this section for a list of programs receiving more or less funding from previous years.

NRCan’s projected spending profile indicates a declining trend in expenditures after fiscal year 2011-12 as a result of sunsetting funding for Canada’s Economic Action Plan initiatives as well as other programs, notably the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program ($549.8 million), the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program ($400 million), the Forest Innovation and the Expanding Market Opportunities Programs ($59.4 million) and the ecoENERGY Technology Initiative73 ($48.7 million).

Information on year-to-year variations for the fiscal year period 2012-13 to 2014-15 can be found in the table below, which provides a list of programs that are sunsetting or will have reduced funding as well as programs that will have increased funding.

Fiscal year Programs sunsetting or with
reduced funding
Programs with increased funding
2012-13 Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program

ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes Program

ecoENERGY Technology Initiative

Transfer to Shared Services Canada (SSC) related to the Administrative Services Review

ecoENERGY for Biofuels program

Isotopes Supply Initiative

CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory Relocation Program
Nuclear Legacy Liabilities Program

Clean Energy Fund

ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative

Sustainable Development Technology Canada Next Generation Biofuels Fund

ecoENERGY Efficiency Program

Port Hope Area Initiative

Investments in Forest Industry Transformation Program
2013-14 Clean Energy Fund

ecoENERGY for Biofuels program

Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals Program

Sustainable Development Technology Canada Next Generation Biofuels Fund

Port Hope Area Initiative
Nuclear Legacy Liabilities Program

Investments in Forest Industry Transformation Program
2014-15 Clean Energy Fund

Nuclear Legacy Liabilities Program

Port Hope Area Initiative

Investments in Forest Industry Transformation Program

ecoENERGY for Biofuels Producer Incentive

Sustainable Development Technology Canada Next Generation Biofuels Fund

Estimates by Vote

For information on the department’s organizational votes and/or statutory expenditures, please see the Public Accounts of Canada 2012 (Volume II)74

Voted and Statutory Items ($ millions)

Voted or Statutory Items Truncated Vote or Statutory Wording Actual Spending
Actual Spending
Main Estimates 2011-12 Actual Spending 2011-12
Vote 1 Operating Expenditures 719.2 869.7 819.6 569.9 755.4
Vote 2 Capital Expenditures 8.9 21.2 13.9 21.4
Vote 5 Grants and Contributions 382.0 780.5 1,346.5 1,267.5 1,285.9
Statutory Minister of Natural Resources – Salary and Motor Car Allowance 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Statutory Contributions to Employee Benefit Plans 58.3 67.1 66.1 58.7 64.1
Statutory Canada-Nova Scotia Development Fund -- 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Statutory Infrastructure costs relating to the exploration, development, production or transportation of oil and gas in the offshore area of Nova Scotia 0.6 1.3 0.0 0.0 0.0
Statutory Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board 4.1 4.9 6.3 6.8 3.4
Statutory Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board 2.8 2.2 2.2 3.4 2.2
Statutory Payments to the Nova Scotia Offshore Revenue Account 577.4 109.4 225.2 179.7 157.3
Statutory Payments to the Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Resource Revenue Fund 2,351.0 1,180.9 1227.7 1,424.0 1,059.8
Statutory Grant to the Canada Foundation for Sustainable Development 19.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Statutory Newfoundland and Labrador Fiscal Equalization Offset Payments 556.7 465.3 641.9 0.0 0.0
Statutory Grants in Support of Energy Costs Assistance Measures 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Statutory Spending of proceeds from the disposal of Crown Assets 0.4 0.5 0.5 0.0 0.3
Statutory Refund of amounts credited to revenues in previous years 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Statutory Grant to the University of Calgary, Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment, and Economy 5.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Statutory Pursuant to section 2146 of the Jobs and Economic Growth Act, for the divestiture of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.7
Statutory Geomatics Canada Revolving Fund
- Operational expenditures
- Respendable revenue
0.9 0.5 (0.3) 0.0 0.4
Total Spending 4,677.5 3,491.3 4,357.0 3,524.0 3,352.2


56 The proportion of Canada’s land area covered by forest, other wooded land and other land with tree cover is over 43 percent.

59 Ibid note 45.

66 In 2011, the Deputy Minister approved a new internal Directive on Environmental Assessment for NRCan, which updated existing environmental policy on several planes, including providing further specifics on the SEA management process, and referencing the Federal Sustainable Development Act, as well as reporting requirements through the main estimates documents cycle.

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