Seizing the moment for energy prosperity
Community The Honorable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, weighs in on the growing oportunities for the energy industry in Atlantic Canada.
Canada is the land of opportunity — two opportunities in fact.
First: the opportunity of supply. Canadians have access to an unprecedented wealth of energy. Beneath our feet lie massive energy reserves of crude oil, natural gas and uranium.
Second: the opportunity of demand. The global middle class is growing, from less than two billion in 2009 to an estimated five billion in 2030. People around the world will need affordable energy to fuel their needs, especially in emerging economies, which will represent 90% of new global energy demand to 2035.
Taken together, these two opportunities mean Canada is destined to become a 21st century resource superpower.
Our country is seizing the moment. Resource investments in hundreds of projects could reach $650 billion in the decade ahead, providing good jobs and pay for thousands of Canadians. But it’s not enough to have resources. We need to access the customers to sell them too. The key to prosperity is diversifying markets for our energy products.
“Anytime a region in Canada becomes stronger, we all become stronger. It’s part of moving forward together, as part of a national economy that is participating as a strong global player.”
Atlantic Canada stands to gain tremendously from this energy opportunity. This region is home to Canada’s largest oil refinery and several of Canada’s most iconic all-weather ports. It is closer to the west coast of India than anywhere else in North America — an incredible advantage, since India will become the largest single source of global oil demand growth after 2020.
The energy industry here is booming. Over the past 15 years Nova Scotia offshore oil and gas production has generated over $2.4 billion in government revenues and annually supports some 750 jobs. At the same time Newfoundland and Labrador production has generated over $9.2 billion in government revenues and provides over 12,800 direct and indirect jobs annually.
Yet we have not fully realized Atlantic Canada’s energy potential. Over the past two years industry has invested billions in offshore exploration activities. More development is bound to come.
Furthermore, TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline project could carry 1.1 million barrels of crude oil a day from Western Canada. A large portion of this oil will be refined in Saint John, New Brunswick at the Irving refinery. A Deloitte audit estimates that Energy East could sustain more than 2,800 jobs in New Brunswick during construction and an additional 385 jobs during operation.
Atlantic Canada is also at the forefront of clean energy. Supported with a $5 billion federal loan guarantee announced by our Government last December, construction is ramping up on the Lower Churchill River power project — the best undeveloped source of hydroelectricity in North America. This project will create 3,100 jobs at peak employment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 3.2 million cars off the road each year.
Another opportunity is tidal power. The electrical energy that can be generated from the tidal flow in the Bay of Fundy’s Minas Basin alone could power an estimated one million homes.
By growing the energy sector, our Government is supporting nearly half a million Canadians whose jobs are connected to this industry. Under our plan for Responsible Resource Development, we are committed to creating jobs, growth, and prosperity while ensuring world-class environmental protection — for Atlantic Canada and for all Canadians.