There’s been so much debate lately, given the recent election cycle, that it might be time for a quick reminder about what’s important to the future prosperity of Canadian families.
When it’s all said and done, Canada’s natural resources support workers, families, communities and governments right across the nation. And as a consequence of Canada’s tough environmental regulations both federally and provincially, trade in Canada’s natural resources also supports the global environment when compared to other supplier nations.
Let’s take oil and gas, with its $500 billion generated for governments Canada-wide since 2000.
With global energy demand increasing steadily – including for oil and gas – and with several West Coast Indigenous communities advancing LNG projects with the goal of getting Canada’s lowest-emission LNG to global consumers, the importance of Canada’s oil and gas future can’t be overstated.
But it’s not just oil and gas that Canadians can be proud of. In 2016, Canada was the seventh top producer of renewable energy worldwide. In fact, in the 10 years leading to 2018, more wind power capacity was built in Canada than any other form of generation, with capacity growing at a rate of 20 per cent annually.
In terms of emissions-free nuclear power, Canada is the second largest producer and exporter of uranium in the world, with 22 per cent of global production in 2017.
Canada was also the third largest producer of primary aluminum, with more than five per cent of world production in 2017, produced to the highest environmental standards with low-emissions energy.
But let’s not overlook Canadian agriculture. We’re the sixth-largest global exporter of beef, accounting for 4.6 per cent of the world’s exports in 2018. And we produce more canola than any other country, contributing some $26 billion to the Canadian economy annually.
We’re the number one producer of lentils and dry peas, with pulses sent to over 120 countries in 2018. And we’re also the second largest producer and exporter of softwood lumber, at more than $10 billion in exports in 2017.
From pork (we’re the third largest producer in the world) to farmed and wild fish (we exported $6.9 billion in fish and seafood products to 139 countries in 2018) to wheat and other grains, our products and our environmental, safety and human rights reputation are envied around the planet.
We excel in environment, social and governance (ESG) metrics, all in a way that puts food on the tables of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians from Tofino, B.C. to St. John’s, Newfoundland.
It’s a record we can all be fiercely proud of. And that’s why we continue to encourage Canadians to work together to take action in support of our vital natural resource sectors and the communities and families they support.
My bottom line is this: When Canadians pull in the same constructive direction, great things happen.
Cody Battershill is a Calgary realtor and founder / spokesperson for CanadaAction.ca, a volunteer-initiated group that supports Canadian natural resources sector and the environmental, social and economic benefits that come with it.