YELLOWKNIFE, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES -- (Marketwired) -- 08/27/13 -- 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.
The backgrounders Canada's Annual Energy and Mines Ministers' Conference-Mining and 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 www.energyinfo.ca.
Media may contact:
Director of Communications
Office of Canada's Minister of Natural Resources
Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa
Manager, Public Affairs and Communications
Industry, Tourism and Investment
Government of the Northwest Territories
The general public may contact:
Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. EDT
(teletype for the hearing-impaired)