Minister Penashue Highlights Importance of Responsible Resource Development for Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity to Newfoundland and Labrador


St. John's, June 4, 2012 – Today the Honourable Peter Penashue, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, and Harper Government Ministers throughout Canada are putting the spotlight on the benefits of the Government’s plan for Responsible Resource Development to communities across the country, specifically the job creation, growth and long-term prosperity that all Canadians can share in.

Minister Penashue took the opportunity to outline the steps the government is taking to ensure that Canada's natural resources are developed in a way that contributes to continued economic growth and jobs while strengthening environmental protection.

“Our natural resource industries — energy, mining and minerals processing and forest — account for more than 10 percent of our gross domestic product and provide close to 800,000 jobs in Canada,” said Minister Penashue. “Responsible Resource Development will ensure that our abundant natural resources are developed in a sustainable way for the benefit of all Canadians.”

The Minister made these remarks while visiting Harvey Offshore Base, a leading local services supplier to the offshore energy industry.

It is estimated that energy and other major resource projects could generate more than $500 billion in new investment in Canada over the next 10 years. For example, the oil and gas industry has transformed the economy in Newfoundland and Labrador. By 2015, the resource sector will be the major contributor toward an 8 percent increase in employment — totalling 23,000 new jobs — as the development of Hebron and the Muskrat Falls hydro project ramp up.

“That’s why it’s so important to ensure that Canada has the right conditions in place to attract global investment in our provinces and territories,” said the Minister. “The time is now for Canada’s immense resources. Canada must compete with other resource-rich countries around the world for these job-creating investment dollars. And this is why we need to ensure timely, efficient and effective project reviews.”

Responsible Resource Development is founded on four main pillars: to make project reviews more predictable and timely while still maintaining thoroughness; to reduce duplication of project reviews; to strengthen environmental protection; and to enhance Aboriginal consultations.

Among the changes, the plan will eliminate inefficiencies between levels of government by enabling provincial governments to replace rather than duplicate assessments by the federal government, provided they can meet federal requirements. The plan also proposes to place firm time limits on reviews, which would have to be completed within two years.

At the same time, the plan proposes measures to strengthen Canada's already high standards for safety and environmental protection. For example, substantial financial penalties would for the first time be imposed for non-compliance with conditions set by environmental reviews.

For more information on Responsible Resource Development, including detailed backgrounders, please visit the Economic Action Plan website: actionplan.gc.ca

Media may contact :

  • Niklaus Schwenker
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and
    President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada
    613-943-1838

    Or
  • Patricia Best
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister
    Natural Resources Canada
    Ottawa
    613-996-2007