Just how important is Canada’s natural resource sector to Canadians? Very, very important, to say the least, even for those who may not work in the sector directly (see more below). But don’t take our word for it…
Here’s some recently released statistics from the federal government that show exactly why Canada's natural resource sector is critical to the national economy and overall prosperity.
#1 – Contribute Greatly to National GDP
Canada’s natural resource sectors accounted for nearly 17% of the national GDP in 2017. Of this, 11.9% was created from direct industry sources:
- Energy (6.9%)
- Minerals / Metals (3.6%)
- Forestry (1.4%)
Another 4.7% of Canada's GDP was considered "indirect" economic activity spurred by the natural resource sectors. That’s trickle-down business for IT companies, law firms, financial institutions and all those in between.
#2 – Mass Employment Across the Country
Of 18.42 million positions across the country in 2017, natural resources accounted for 1.82 million direct and indirect jobs. Of these, 924,000 were "direct" jobs due to activity in the following industries:
- Energy (265,000)
- Minerals / metals (426,000)
- Forestry (233,000)
That leaves 896,000 "indirect" jobs in other supportive fields such as those mentioned above: finance, law, IT, etc..
#3 – Major Projects = Economic Activity
As of August 2018, there were 418 major resource projects under construction or planned in Canada over the next decade. The total amount of investment at the time was projected at $585 billion in the following industries:
- Energy – 287 projects - $510 billion
- Minerals / Metals – 108 projects - $72 billion
- Forestry – 23 projects - $3 billion
However, it's important to keep in mind that Canada has been struggling with getting major natural resource projects built for several years.
In recent months, capital flight to other jurisdictions such as the USA has been rampant, while the introduction of new legislation like Bill's C-48 and C-69, according to industry and business leaders, will only make Canada's woes even worse.
#4 – Capital Expenditure
In 2017, natural resource companies invested $89 billion in Canada, representing 38% of the total non-residential capital investment made for the year. Of that 38%, these industries were responsible for their respective share:
- Energy - $75 billion – 84% of total resource investment
- Minerals / Metals - $12 billion – 14% of total resource investment
- Forestry - $2 billion – 2% of total resource investment
Investment from natural resource companies creates job opportunities and spurs economic activity across Canada.
#5 – Government Revenues
From 2012 to 2016, the average amount of government revenue generated by Canada’s natural resource sectors was estimated at $22 billion per year. That’s $110 billion over 5 years!
What could you buy with $110 billion dollars? Several new transit lines + stations, hospitals, schools, roads, police, nurses, teachers, doctors and lots of money left over for important social programs here in Canada.
#6 – Trade Exports
Canada’s natural resource exports – at $236 billion in 2017 – made up 47% of the total merchandise exported from Canada last year. The top three recipients of those exports:
- United States – 75%
- United Kingdom – 6%
- China – 4%
A large portion of these exports are in fact oil being shipped to the United States. In 2017, Canada shipped about 3.3 million barrels per day down south, making up about 99% of its total crude oil and equivalent exports for the year.
#7 – Clean Technology
In 2016, clean technology, clean energy and environmental goods and services industries accounted for 3.1% - or $59.3 billion - of Canada’s GDP, and provided 274,000 total jobs nationwide.
#8 – Forest Management
Canada is home to nearly a tenth of the world’s total forests (9%). It’s also home to more than a third of the world’s “certified sustainably managed forests” – with 38%. These are forests that are carefully managed where felled trees are replaced with seedlings.
Did you know that in 2014, 540 million seedlings were planted across Canada? That's because the law requires any public lands that are harvested to be replanted.
#9 – Global Assets
In 2016, the total value of Canadian natural resource extractive company assets was $568 billion. Of those assets, $353 billion were located in Canada, while the remaining $215 billion was spread out between 127 other countries worldwide.
#10 – Energy Intensity
In 2015, Canada used 27.5% less energy per dollar of GDP generated than it did in 1990.
*Sourced from Natural Resources Canada
Canada Should Be Proud…
Canada’s natural resource sectors contribute immensely to our national economy, standard of living and quality of life. They are the single largest contributor to Canada’s annual GDP and employ nearly 10% of all working Canadians.
Just last year, the natural resource sectors were responsible for the largest portion of non-residential capital investment in the country. They also represented almost half of our total export merchandise and contribute tens of billions of dollars to government coffers annually.
As Canadians, we need to recognize that without our natural resource sectors, many of us would have a hard time upholding the high standard of living our country is known for worldwide.
Provincial and federal governments would also struggle to pay for those much-needed services such as healthcare and education that play an integral role in our high quality of life, another thing Canada is known for across the globe.
Canada is an Environmental Steward
Canada is a world-leader when it comes to developing its natural resources as companies are held to some of the highest environmental standards on the planet.
Don’t let anyone tell you that Canada doesn’t deserve the same opportunity for economic prosperity as other natural-resource-rich nations have. If anything, we deserve it more so because of how committed Canadian companies are to taking care of the environment during the development and production of natural resources.
In Canada, it’s the law! Both companies and individuals may be held criminally responsible if this legislation set forth by government isn’t followed!
In many other global countries, there’s very few rules and regulations (if any) in place to protect the environment during the development of natural resources. That’s why natural resources produced in Canada, such as oil and natural gas, is a win for both our nation and the global environment!
What Can YOU Do?
If you want to support Canada’s natural resource industries, there’s a few things you can do to join the movement! Check them out:
Share this page to spread the word.
Canadians don’t have to choose between supporting climate action and backing our oil and gas industry. It’s in our best interest to build bridges and work together, for the good of our national economic prosperity and the global environment. Each of us has a responsibility to...
Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Canadians can all benefit from a resource focused recovery Estella Petersen, Indigenous Heavy Equipment Operator in the Canadian Oil Sands This time of the year has me thinking about family. Family takes on a different meaning for different peo...
Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is a new and important tool in lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the fight against climate change. This method of taking climate action has shown a lot of promise not just in Canada, but around the globe. The IPCC’s report of ...