Our resources can help us build a better Canada

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Canada’s natural resource endowment is unmatched. We are the world’s largest exporter of forest products, the third largest exporter of natural gas and the fourth largest exporter of agriculture and agri-food. We have the world’s third largest oil reserves and are a top 10 producer of too many metals and minerals to list. Acting as the world’s resource basket sets Canada up for a prosperous future by providing jobs across the country.

Resource industries currently provide $30 billion annually to government revenues, equal to approximately half of all spending on hospitals in Canada in 2013.

Health costs will rise, but so can the resource sector’s contribution.

What’s holding Canada back is a lack of adequate transportation infrastructure to get our goods to high growth markets. Simply put, we need more rail, ports and pipelines to get Canadian goods to overseas markets that are clamouring for them. Most of us may not see how that wealth spreads across the country, benefiting communities far from any mine, field or oil well. There isn’t a single mine in Toronto, but the Toronto Stock Exchange is becoming the world’s mining finance and professional services capital.

In the next two years, Canada will consider a number of proposals to build the infrastructure needed to get Canada’s natural resources to market.

None of these investments are free of impacts, but a sophisticated nation like Canada can manage these challenges and move any product safely if our businesses and governments are motivated and vigilant.

To maintain our competitiveness and quality of life, Canada needs to build the trade routes of the 21st century.

Please visit PowerofCanada.ca for more information and give your support to the Partnership for Resource Trade which aims to create a prosperous future for Canadian businesses and the Canadian economy.

Perrin Beatty is president and CEO

of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

He writes from Ottawa.

Organizations: Toronto Stock Exchange, Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Geographic location: Canada, Toronto, Ottawa

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Recent comments

  • Nichol
    August 06, 2014 - 11:57

    Mr. Beatty is correct in his assessment of our natural resource riches. The development and use of these resources is extremely important, and needs to focus on the basics of any strong economy...jobs. In the case of NL, we have heard our Provincial government spout accolades about our wealth of natural resources for years. The very strange thing when trying to understand these claims of 'world class resources, our great oil wealth' etc. is the fact that NL still has the highest Provincial unemployment rate in Canada, and is running huge provincial deficit budgets, $500 million this year alone, after spending $18 billion in oil revenues. All this with a tiny population of 500 thousand, a large number of who depend on Western Canada turnaround jobs for employment. There is something terribly wrong with this picture, and it is getting worse with Muskrat Falls about to effectively double our Provincial debt. It will take many years to recover, once we get rid of the cause of this nightmare after the next election.

    • Paul
      August 07, 2014 - 08:31

      @Nichol Yes. You make excellent points.And if I may add, NFLD needs to make every citizen of the province reap more dividends from oil royalties. As well NFLD needs to repatriate 100% control and all revenues from fisheries within the Atlantic shelf around NFLD&LB exempt from any Ottawa involvment and no claw back of transfer payment etc....Ottawa wont help so it's time to help ourselves.

  • Corporate Psycho
    August 06, 2014 - 08:12

    No mention of the giveaway of our fish resources?

    • Caroline J.
      August 07, 2014 - 08:30

      Hey, that's not fair, Corporate! We also give away our oil and forest products.