Last year was for the record books, and not in a good way. Canada – and most of the world, for that matter – grappled with the fallout from COVID-19 in varying degrees since the beginning of 2020. Such a year can only be described as catastrophic for millions of Canadians from coast-to-coast.
But now it’s 2021, and light has appeared at the end of the tunnel. Vaccines are being distributed across the country, and some health experts say that a return to normalcy could happen by the end of the year.
With the pandemic finish line in view, it’s time that Canadians start to think very seriously about our economic recovery and how we are going to go about that in the best and most effective way possible. It’s critical that we aren’t prejudiced against one sector or another while having this conversation, but rather support an all-inclusive approach that props up all industries to benefit all Canadians.
Historically speaking, Canada’s natural resource sectors have always been an economic boon even during the toughest of times. Here are a few reasons why all of us should put our full support behind the resource sectors moving forward into 2021 – and beyond.
Natural Resources Contribute Immensely to the Canadian Economy
Numbers don’t lie. Take a look at some of the most recent statistics from Natural Resources Canada showing just how much value is added to our country by these industries:
- Natural resources directly and indirectly accounted for 16.9% of Canada’s economy in 2019
- When combined with the agriculture and agri-food sector, the natural resources sector accounted for nearly a quarter of our nation’s economy in 2019
- Natural resources directly and indirectly accounted for 1.9 million jobs across Canada in 2019
- When combined with the agriculture and agri-food sector, natural resources employed roughly 4.2 million people nationwide in 2019
- Natural resource companies invested $86 billion in 2019, representing 32% of total non-residential capital investment in Canada
- Canada’s natural resource exports were valued at $264 billion in 2019, comprising 48% of the value of Canada’s total merchandise exports
- A total of 459 major resource projects under construction or planned over the next 10 years in Canada, worth $589 billion in potential investment
- Governments derived $21.4 billion annually on average from the natural resource sectors between 2014-2018
- In 2019, 909 communities were economically reliant on at least one natural resource sector. Of those communities, 609 are either significantly or highly dependent upon at least one of the natural resource sectors.
Proud to support our 🇨🇦 workers!— Shawn (@17Deer) May 8, 2021
I have friends up in the oilfields in Fort Mac and more than a few friends in the forestry industry in BC & NB and also friends in the Agriculture industry here in ONT.
These industries are vital to 🇨🇦's economy! @CanadaAction @OilsandsAction pic.twitter.com/GQG7gDP7rh
The natural resource sectors indirectly support other Canadian industries as well. According to a report by the Macdonald Laurier Institute, every dollar of increased resource output generated $2.32 of economy-wide gross domestic product (GDP) in Canada. When the natural resources sectors are strong, so is our economy!
Canada’s natural resource sectors contribute immensely to our nation’s overall prosperity and are some of the most sustainable found across the world. Therefore, with the growing global demand for oil, natural gas, minerals, metals, forestry and agriculture products, it only makes sense that more of these raw goods and materials come from environmentally responsible producers, like those found in Canada.
Consistent Economic Stimulus Even in Times of Crisis
New resource projects and existing operations have proven to be a major boon to the Canadian economy in 2020 despite the coronavirus pandemic. For example:
> Despite industry layoffs and temporary production cuts in 2020, the oil sands hit a record-high production level of 3.16 million barrels a day in November of 2020. Mining operations like those in the oil sands have high start-up costs, but once turned on, have marginal operating costs and are rarely turned off
> As of November 30th, 2020, roughly 7,600 people were working on the Trans Mountain expansion project. Once complete, the TMX pipeline will allow Canada to get a better price for its oil by narrowing the WCS price discount and save our nation from losing tens of billions of dollars annually
> Western Investor reported that more than as of July 2020, roughly 1,600 people were working at the LNG Canada project in Kitimat, B.C., with an expected peak of 4,500 workers to remain throughout 2022 and 2023. Meanwhile, Coastal GasLink, the pipeline that will provide feedstock for LNG Canada, currently employs 600 workers. A healthy LNG industry on the west coast is projected to add $11 billion to Canada’s economy annually
> In September of 2020, the new Côté Gold Mine construction in Northern Ontario received support from the provincial government and was deemed a project of major economic importance. Once complete, the mine is expected to provide 450 full-time, well-paying jobs, generate $5 billion in wages, and add $10 billion to Ontario’s economy over the project’s lifespan.
Often found in remote parts of the country, these natural resource projects have the opportunity to continue operations without being subject to pandemic-induced lockdowns like many Canadian municipalities were in 2020 and 2021.
And with nearly $600 billion in planned natural resource projects across the country over the next 10 years (see the image above), it only makes sense we put our full support behind these industries that will continue to be a major backbone of Canadian prosperity for decades to come – if not forever.
Join Us Today!
Canadians across the country are now focused on how we will recover from the economic recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It only makes sense to look towards our job-creating, wealth-generating natural resource sectors which have proven to be economic boons for our country in the past, and will not fail us in the future.
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