The Department of Natural Resources recently released figures that show the importance of resources to Canada’s economy.
Last year, income from the fields of energy, minerals, metals, and forestry generated nearly one-fifth of the country’s overall GDP. In addition, the natural resources sector provided approximately 800,000 direct and a further 800,000 indirect jobs, which amount to roughly 10% of Canada’s workforce.
This industry is expected to continue expanding throughout the next decade. Most Canadian provinces are expected to benefit from this boom in industry. While Alberta is recognized as a leader in this sector (thanks to its oil reserves), provinces from Quebec to British Columbia are also poised to further open their natural resources to the global market.
“It’s not all oil sands and it’s not all Alberta,” says Resources Minister Joe Oliver. “It is forestry in British Columbia, potash and uranium in Saskatchewan, mining in Ontario’s Sudbury Basin, hydropower in Quebec and all the related supply chains.”
He goes to emphasize the importance that this sector will have for Canada’s economic success in the future. “Our natural resources hold tremendous potential for Canadian prosperity and security, for jobs and for hundreds of billions of dollars in revenues for critical social programs,” he stated.
Hand in hand with this industry boom is a need for qualified workers to fill labour shortages in related fields. Increasingly, Canadian companies have made efforts to find these workers internationally.