Canada's energy and mines minister agree to continue critical work creating long-term prosperity and protecting the nnvironment

August 28, 2013
Public Service Announcement

YELLOWKNIFE (August 27, 2013) — Canada's energy and mines ministers today agreed to continue critical work to enhance Canada's position as a global energy and mining leader. The meeting was co-chaired by the Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable David Ramsay, Northwest Territories’ Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment.  “Given the huge and growing global demand for natural resources, Canada is well positioned to take advantage of opportunities to supply new markets in the Asia-Pacific region and elsewhere,” said Minister Oliver. “We must work collaboratively to put in place the conditions necessary for Canada to diversify its markets, particularly the construction of infrastructure. This is a strategic imperative since Canada currently exports virtually all its oil and gas to the United States where rapidly expanding shale gas and tight oil developments mean it will need Canadian resources less in the future.”

“The Northwest Territories was pleased to host Energy and Mines Ministers from across Canada,” said Minister Ramsay. “Holding the conference in Yellowknife this year was timely, as the Northwest Territories is about to assume greater control of resource development through the devolution of this responsibility from the federal government. The Northwest Territories has a wealth of natural resources that, when developed, will benefit all Canadians.”

Meeting in Yellowknife at the annual Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference, the federal, provincial and territorial ministers of energy and mines underscored the importance of natural resources to Canada's economic future and the need to capture opportunities for all Canadians now and for years to come:


  • The Ministers agreed that natural resources are a pillar of Canada's economy and key to jobs, growth and long-term prosperity across the country, including the North;
  • The Ministers agreed that natural resources generate significant revenue for critical social programs and that there is therefore an urgent need to build the infrastructure to reach new markets for their natural resources;
  • The Ministers agreed to strengthen cooperation with the federal government on its plan for Responsible Resource Development, including world class safety for energy transportation.
  • The Ministers agreed that important progress is being made in implementing regulatory reform in a way that ensures the environment is protected, supporting sustainable long-term economic growth and job creation. Governments will continue to implement regulatory reform;
  • The provincial and territorial governments agreed to work with the federal government in support of Canada's commitment to establish new mandatory reporting standards for Canadian extractive companies with a view to enhancing transparency of payments made to governments;
  • The Ministers agreed that meaningful action has been undertaken to enhance Aboriginal engagement and that such efforts must continue to ensure Aboriginal communities benefit fully from responsible resource development; and
  • The Ministers agreed to continue discussions throughout the next year on elements that underpin investment in resource projects across Canada, such as; building safe and secure infrastructure; diversifying markets; investing in innovation, technology, and renewable energy; improving energy efficiency; strengthening environmental protection, community engagement, and the mining and energy sectors’ social licence to operate; and improving transparency and accountability in the extractive sector.

During the energy meeting, topics of discussion included North America’s changing energy landscape and the current challenges and opportunities for Canada, focusing on the major themes of energy supply and its safe, secure and efficient distribution and use. The Ministers reviewed the significant regulatory and public engagement efforts undertaken by the provincial, territorial, and federal governments, in addition to research on the resource base and environmental impacts related to shale oil and gas. Progress has been made in the area of renewable energy, and the ongoing impact across the country of collaborative actions taken in the area of energy efficiency is significant. Going forward, the Ministers agreed to further collaborate in the areas of energy technology and innovation and energy transportation.

Energy innovation was also highlighted as critical to maintaining Canada’s competitiveness in global markets and meeting our environmental goals. Provinces and territories welcomed the Government of Canada’s plan to convene regional roundtables to encourage stronger collaboration and partnerships on energy innovation.

During the mining meeting, the Ministers endorsed the Mining Sector Performance Report 2013, which highlights the important role mining plays in Canada’s economy and for communities. The report documents marked improvements in the industry’s environmental and social performance. The Ministers also discussed effective ways to introduce innovative technology in the mining sector through the Green Mining Initiative.

The Ministers also discussed implementation of the plan for Responsible Resource Development, which streamlines reviews of major projects by ensuring more predictable and timely reviews, reducing duplication across jurisdictions, strengthening environmental protection, and enhancing consultations with Aboriginal peoples, and strengthening marine and pipeline safety.

The Ministers will reconvene next year in Sudbury, Ontario for the 2014 Energy and Mines Ministers’ conference.

Quebec acknowledges the preparation of this press release and is open to collaborate with other governments in sharing information and best practices and encourages bilateral discussions with provinces and territories sharing common interest on energy and mining related issues.

Media may contact:

Chris McCluskey
Director of Communications
Office of Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources
Chirs.McCluskey@nrcan.gc.ca
613-992-4447
Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-992-4447
Alayna Ward
Manager, Public Affairs and Communications
Industry, Tourism and Investment
Government of the Northwest Territories
867-445-7477


The general public may contact:

Mon.–Fri., 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. EDT
Telephone: 613-995-0947
TTY: 613-996-4397
(teletype for the hearing-impaired)
E-mail: questions@nrcan.gc.ca

The backgrounders Canada’s Annual Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference-Miningand Canada’s Annual Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference-Energy are available at www.scics.gc.ca.

For access to energy facts while you are on the go, visit our new mobile website at energyinfo.ca

BACKGROUNDER

Canada’s Annual Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference-Energy

At the 2013 Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference (EMMC), federal, provincial and territorial ministers discussed North America’s changing energy landscape and the current challenges and opportunities for the Canadian energy sector. The following key themes and priorities were discussed:

Energy Supply

Governments have a collective opportunity to enable the sustainable realization of Canada’s enormous resource endowment. By working in partnership, the Government of Canada together with the provinces and territories will ensure that our resources are developed and used responsibly for the benefit of all Canadians.

At the 2013 EMMC, the Ministers recognized that the North American energy landscape is changing rapidly. Technological innovation and the increasing affordability of horizontal drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing technologies are unlocking vast unconventional shale oil and gas resources. The Ministers’ discussion on these issues was informed by a report and accompanying compendium titled Responsible Shale Development: Enhancing the Knowledge Base on Shale Oil and Gas in Canada. These documents compile and summarize into a single source the major regulatory, environmental protection, scientific research and other initiatives that the federal, provincial and territorial governments have undertaken with respect to shale resource innovation and development. The report will serve as a resource for all jurisdictions to better understand and benefit from the significant efforts across Canada. Going forward, priority action areas will include establishing a knowledge-sharing network focused on key research questions and technical issues and knowledge sharing between Canada and the United States.

In addition, the energy ministers were provided with the document, Canada – A Global Leader in Renewable Energy: Enhancing Collaboration on Renewable Energy Technologies, which highlights progress in the area of renewable energy and potential collaborative actions as we move forward. Canada’s reliance on electricity produced from renewable energy sources, including, hydro, wind, solar, biomass and marine, is expected to increase further as governments continue to pursue policies encouraging energy innovation and the deployment and integration of lower-emitting sources of electricity. Going forward, collaboration across jurisdictions will be necessary to ensure that Canada maintains its renewable energy advantage and maximizes the potential for future uptake of novel technologies, particularly by supporting increased reliability and system adequacy, ensuring the sustainability of the electricity transmission system, ensuring appropriate engagement with local and Aboriginal communities, and addressing the integration of rising levels of variable renewable electricity.

Energy Distribution

The Ministers discussed the importance of safe and secure transportation networks to facilitate access to markets for energy producers, and access to domestic energy resources for consumers. Efficient and modern energy transportation systems will help Canada achieve its full potential as a major global energy producer and exporter, while ensuring that domestic demand is satisfied and citizens and the environment remain safe. Positive, substantive progress must continue to be made in improving the security of pipelines and the means of energy transportation while ensuring appropriate engagement with local and First Nations communities. The Ministers agreed that federal, provincial and territorial governments could benefit from a shared understanding of the challenges and opportunities that each jurisdiction faces in maintaining and developing energy transportation infrastructure. The Ministers agreed to continue working together to ensure that Canada has the safe and secure energy transportation infrastructure needed to reach current and future markets.

Energy Use

Since 2007, federal, provincial and territorial partners have made tremendous progress toward greater collaboration and shared best practices with the goal of improving the efficiency of energy use in all sectors across the country. The impact of these efforts was detailed in Moving Forward on Energy Efficiency in Canada: Achieving Results to 2020 and Beyond, endorsed at EMMC 2012. This year, the Ministers received an update for 2013, entitled Energy Efficiency: Taking a Balanced Approach to Energy. This report summarizes the actions taken over the last year, including the implementation of the 2011 building code and the introduction of the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Benchmarking Program in Canada. The report also showcases the alignment between Canadian collaborative actions and recommendations from the International Energy Agency, such as making energy efficiency affordable and raising the profile and importance of energy efficiency and conservation. 

Energy Innovation

Investments in energy innovation will help maintain Canada’s competitiveness, reduce energy costs for consumers and meet our environmental goals. The Ministers noted the federal government’s investment of $325 million over eight years to continue support for the development and demonstration of new, clean technologies through Sustainable Development Technology Canada. To encourage collaboration and bring forth perspectives on how Canada can best support energy innovation, regional roundtables will be held with provinces and territories as well as key stakeholders.

Mandatory Reporting Standards for Canadian Extractive Companies

Canada is recognized as a world leader in promoting transparency and accountability in the extractive sector both at home and abroad. Prime Minister Harper announced at this year’s G8 summit that Canada will be establishing new mandatory reporting standards for domestic extractive companies.

It is anticipated that the regime will enhance transparency and accountability with regard to material payments such as taxes, licence fees and other receipts to all levels of government domestically and internationally.

The federal government has begun close consultations with the extractive industry along with provincial and territorial counterparts, Aboriginal groups and non-governmental organizations on how to establish the most effective regime.

BACKGROUNDER

Canada’s Annual Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference-Mining

Mining and exploration activities are contributing significantly in terms of economic and social benefits to provinces and territories. At the Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference (EMMC), the mines ministers and senior government officials discussed current challenges the mining sector is facing and the opportunities that lie ahead.

The Ministers agreed to move forward on key issues requiring continued attention and a coordinated approach. The following key themes and priorities were discussed:

Benefits From Mining

The value of mineral production in Canada was nearly $47 billion in 2012, and Canadian-headquartered mining companies accounted for nearly 37 percent of budgeted worldwide exploration expenditures in 2012. In Canada, the industry directly employed about 400,000 people in 2012 and contributed $60 billion to Canada’s nominal GDP in activities from mining to downstream processing. The mining industry is especially important for Aboriginal peoples, who made up about 8,000 people in its workforce in 2012. During this year’s conference, priority areas that the Ministers discussed included: green mining, the mining sector performance report, regulatory reform and mandatory reporting standards for Canadian extractive companies.

Mining Sector Performance Report

The Ministers released the 2013 edition of the Mining Sector Performance Report (MSPR), which provides analysis of the Canadian mining sector’s economic, environmental and social performance over the 1998–2012 period. The report assesses the performance of the mining sector through 23 different indicators and was developed in collaboration with an intergovernmental Working Group Subcommittee. The subcommittee was made up of members from 9 provinces and territories, and consulted with an external advisory committee representing stakeholders from industry, NGOs, academia, and Aboriginal groups.

Mandatory Reporting Standards for Canadian Extractive Companies

Canada is recognized as a world leader in promoting transparency and accountability in the extractive sector both at home and abroad. Prime Minister Harper announced at this year’s G8 summit that Canada will be establishing new mandatory reporting standards for domestic extractive companies.

It is anticipated that the regime will enhance transparency and accountability with regard to material payments such as taxes, licence fees and other receipts to all levels of government domestically and internationally.

Going forward, the federal government will continue to consult closely with the extractive industry provincial and territorial governments, First Nations and Aboriginal groups and non-governmental organizations on how to establish the most effective regime.

Green Mining Initiative

The Ministers endorsed and approved the Green Mining Initiative (GMI) Progress Report entitled Addressing Regulatory Barriers to the Adoption of Green Mining Technologies in Canada. The results of the study will foster innovation by helping regulators when creating or modernizing regulations.

Ministers tasked officials to continue their work on the role of regulations in adopting new technologies. As part of this work, an untested green mining technology will undergo a rigorous standard assessment to verify its performance through Environment Canada’s Environmental Technology Verification Program. The outcomes will be discussed with regulators and industry. Officials worked closely with regulators to ensure that there would be adequate incentive to use the verification processes in the mining sector. Three important aspects of GMI include:


  • Enhancing industry engagement and communication to raise regulatory awareness and level of comfort with new technologies;
  • Assessing the feasibility of GMI-Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) programs; and
  • Assessing the use of outcome-based regulations as a means to foster mining innovation.

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The GMI was created to help the Canadian mining industry in R&D focused on improved environmental protection and remediation, and to develop new and better alternatives to existing technologies for mineral extraction, mineral processing and environmental reclamation.

Media may contact:

Chris McCluskey
Director of Communications
Office of Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources
Chris.McCluskey@nrcan.gc.ca
613-992-4447

or

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-992-4447

or

Alayna Ward
Manager, Public Affairs and Communications
Industry, Tourism and Investment
Government of the Northwest Territories
867-445-7477

The general public may contact:

Mon.–Fri., 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. EDT
Telephone: 613-995-0947
TTY: 613-996-4397
(teletype for the hearing-impaired)
E-mail: questions@nrcan.gc.ca

Follow us on Twitter: @NRCan (http://twitter.com/nrcan)

The reports mentioned above are available at www.scics.gc.ca.