Canada’s natural resource wealth is a vital contributor to national, provincial and territorial economies, and to the quality of life enjoyed by Canadians.
Close to 800,000 people work in the sector and an equal number are employed nationwide through related jobs in construction, manufacturing, technology, transportation and services. What’s more, government at all levels benefit from the huge revenues generated from taxes and royalties – revenues that contribute to the public purse and profit all Canadians through infrastructure projects and social and public services such as roads, hospitals and schools.
The natural resources sector, including forestry, metals, minerals and energy, accounts for more than 50% of all Canadian exports, represents about 15% of nominal gross domestic product and directly employs close to 800,000 people. The natural resources sector is also central to financial markets, representing more than 50% of all stocks traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange and more than half of all foreign investment, says Philip Cross, senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute in Ottawa and former chief economic analyst with Statistics Canada.