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MINISTER UPPAL HIGHLIGHTS IMPORTANCE OF RESPONSIBLE RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT FOR JOBS, GROWTH AND LONG-TERM PROSPERITY TO ALBERTA
Monday, 04 June 2012
EDMONTON – Today the Honourable Tim Uppal, Minister of State (Democratic Reform), and Harper Government Ministers throughout Canada are putting the spotlight on the benefits of the Government’s plan for Responsible Resource Development to communities across the country, specifically the job creation, growth and long-term prosperity that all Canadians can share in.
Minister Uppal took the opportunity to outline the steps the government is taking to ensure that Canada's natural resources are developed in a way that contributes to continued economic growth and jobs while strengthening environmental protection.
“Our natural resource industries — energy, mining and minerals processing and forest — account for more than 10 percent of our gross domestic product and provide close to 800,000 jobs in Canada,” said Minister Uppal. “Responsible Resource Development will ensure that our abundant natural resources are developed in a sustainable way for the benefit of all Canadians.”
It is estimated that energy and other major resource projects could generate more than $500 billion in new investment in Canada over the next 10 years. For example, in Alberta, the oil sands — the world’s third-largest proven oil reserve — are responsible, directly or indirectly, for the jobs of some 400,000 people. In addition, the oil and gas extraction sector paid more than $22 billion a year on average, over the last five years, in taxes and royalties. Mining not associated with the oil sands adds another $3.8 billion a year to government revenues.
“That’s why it’s so important to ensure that Canada has the right conditions in place to attract global investment in our provinces and territories,” said the Minister. “The time is now for Canada’s immense resources. Canada must compete with other resource-rich countries around the world for these job-creating investment dollars. And this is why we need to ensure timely, efficient and effective project reviews.”
Responsible Resource Development is founded on four main pillars: to make project reviews more predictable and timely while still maintaining thoroughness; to reduce duplication of project reviews; to strengthen environmental protection; and to enhance Aboriginal consultations.
Among the changes, the plan will eliminate inefficiencies between levels of government by enabling provincial governments to replace rather than duplicate assessments by the federal government, provided they can meet federal requirements. The plan also proposes to place firm time limits on reviews, which would have to be completed within two years.
At the same time, the plan proposes measures to strengthen Canada's already high standards for safety and environmental protection. For example, substantial financial penalties would for the first time be imposed for non-compliance with conditions set by environmental reviews.
The Minister made these remarks while visiting C-FER Technologies, a local Edmonton company which provides technology expertise to the energy industry.
For more information on Responsible Resource Development, including detailed backgrounders, please visit the Economic Action Plan website:
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Tim Uppal - Member of Parliament for Edmonton--Sherwood Park