It gives me great pleasure to present to you the 2016–17 Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP) for Natural Resources Canada. I am proud to be part of the Government of Canada as our country embarks on a new era of openness, inclusion and innovation. We promised a responsible, transparent fiscal plan to deliver on our commitments — and we expect Canadians to hold us accountable.
Canada has enormous natural wealth, including significant resources of renewable and non-renewable energy, massive tracts of forest and abundant minerals and metals. In 2014, natural resource industries directly and indirectly accounted for 20 percent of Canada’s gross domestic product and more than half of Canada’s total exports — $259 billion. Natural resources are a key source of jobs across Canada, with roughly 1.8 million people employed either directly in the resource sectors themselves or indirectly through the purchase of goods and services from supporting industries such as manufacturing and engineering. Maintaining this contribution to our long-term prosperity depends on getting our natural resources to market in sustainable ways.
As Minister of Natural Resources, my overarching goal is to ensure that our resource sectors remain a source of jobs, prosperity and opportunity in a world that values sustainable practices. To achieve this goal, first and foremost, we need your trust.
Earning your trust means operating in an open and transparent way; reporting to you on our progress against commitments; assessing our effectiveness; and re-aligning resources with key priorities. Earning your trust also means inclusiveness: working collaboratively and engaging meaningfully with provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples, municipalities and communities, industry and environmental groups. I am committed to renewing these relationships and those with our closest allies, the United States and Mexico.
By strengthening these relationships, we can achieve great things. My mandate from the Prime Minister is clear and public. I am committed to advancing a comprehensive Canadian Energy Strategy; forging a North American clean energy and environment agreement; achieving the Mission Innovation goal of doubling support for clean energy R&D; modernizing the National Energy Board; and creating an environmental assessment process that lives up to Canadians’ expectations. I am also committed to delivering on the core priorities of the department, including the safety and security of Canadians, addressing resource-related threats and emergencies and collaborating with other departments on priorities such as Open Government.
This RPP provides information on how the department will support the Government on achieving our agenda in the coming year, and I am fully confident that Natural Resources Canada is prepared to successfully support me and work with our partners inside and outside government to deliver for Canadians. However, given our commitment to more effective reporting, this year’s report will be the final submission using the existing reporting framework.
The Prime Minister and the President of the Treasury Board are working to develop new, simplified and more effective reporting processes that will better allow Parliament and Canadians to monitor our government’s progress on delivering real change to Canadians. In the future, NRCan’s reports to Parliament will focus more transparently on how we are using our resources to fulfil our commitments and achieve results for Canadians.
These new reporting mechanisms will allow Canadians to more easily follow our department’s progress toward delivering on our priorities, which were outlined in the Prime Minister’s mandate letter to me (available here).
This RPP is limited to 2016–17, the first year of this government’s mandate. However, I assure you that our plans are focused on a long-term vision for Canada as an economic and environmental powerhouse — one that develops its natural resources in the most transparent, responsible way possible.
I look forward to working with my colleagues at NRCan and the many individuals, groups, governments and companies across the country as we make this vision a reality.
The Honourable Jim Carr, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Natural Resources