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.