Canada’s oil and gas and mining companies are key drivers of the Canadian and global economies.
With interests in more than 8,000 properties, both in Canada and in over 100 countries abroad, Canadian companies in mining and mineral exploration alone account for almost half the world’s activities in this sector. These companies, many of which are small- and medium-sized enterprises, have built a world-renowned reputation based on Canadian know-how in exploration, engineering, extraction, development and financial management. When extractive resources are developed and managed in an economically, socially and environmentally responsible manner, job creation is facilitated and sustainable economic growth can occur in countries and communities where they are operating.
Within this context, resource-rich countries are increasingly seeking to learn from Canada’s best practices in the development and management of their extractive sector, as they look to capture the potential of their own natural resource endowments. The Canadian Extractive Sector Strategy articulates a strong vision for Canada’s response to these countries by bringing to bear a broad range of commercial, diplomatic and development efforts.
The extractive sector, which includes oil and gas and mining companies, generated $174 billion in exports for Canada in 2013, accounting for over 39 percent of total domestic exports. In the mining sector alone, nearly 3,200 suppliers of equipment and services support the industry.
As well as creating jobs and growth today in Canada and around the world, Canada’s extractive sector is also making a large contribution to this country’s long-term economic security. In the case of mining (including some downstream activities), payments to Canadian governments (federal and provincial) in the form of taxes and royalties totalled $18.9 billion from 2008–2012. The mining sector’s economic footprint also extends to the financial sector. Specifically, from 2008 to 2012, 39 percent of global mining equity and over 70 percent of all global mining equity financings were handled through the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange — more than through any other stock exchange in the world. The mining sector’s financial strength helps to sustain private pension funds and the Canada Pension Plan.
The Canadian Extractive Sector Strategy sets out a framework to ensure greater coherence and more effective implementation of efforts to advance the interests and opportunities for Canada’s extractive sector abroad. Guided by stakeholder consultations undertaken in 2013 and informed by the enhanced Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Strategy for Canada’s Extractive Sector Abroad: Doing Business the Canadian Way, the Canadian Extractive Sector Strategy coordinates efforts, including through support provided by the government of Canada’s “economic diplomacy,” to help generate business success and fuel prosperity for Canadians as well as host governments and local communities abroad. The four pillars of the Canadian Extractive Sector Strategy, as well as highlights of each pillar, are set out below.
- promoting the global leadership and expertise of the Canadian extractive sector so that Canadian-based supply and service firms supporting domestic oil and gas and mining companies can also succeed in international markets;
- supporting the extractive sector so it can be an engine for value-added jobs in research and development and for increased Canadian investment in innovation; and,
- continuing to support a productive Canadian extractive supply chain, with a focus on small and medium-size enterprises.
In addition to the CSR Strategy and the Canadian Extractive Sector Strategy, other government initiatives to foster leadership in social, environmental and economic performance by the extractive sector include:
- the Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act which will require companies to report specific payments made to any level of government in Canada or abroad;
- initiatives to improve natural resource governance in developing countries so they can maximize the economic and social benefits from oil, gas and mining development, including the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals and Metals and Sustainable Development; and
- creation of the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute, (formerly the Canadian International Institute for Extractive Industries and Development), which aims to help developing countries build their natural resource management strategies to maximize the benefits of natural resources for their citizens.