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Backgrounder - Responsible Resource Development

Major economic projects create jobs and spur development across Canada. In 2010, natural resource sectors employed over 760,000 workers in communities throughout the country. In the next 10 years, more than 500 major economic projects representing $500 billion in new investments are planned across Canada.

Yet those who wish to invest in our resources have been facing an increasingly complicated web of rules and bureaucratic reviews that have grown over time, adding costs and delays that can deter investors and undermine the economic viability of major projects.

The Government recognizes that the existing system needs comprehensive reform. The Government will bring forward legislation to implement system-wide improvements to achieve the goal of “one project, one review” in a clearly defined time period.

Economic Action Plan 2012 proposes to streamline the review process for major economic projects, support consultation with Aboriginal peoples, and strengthen pipeline and marine safety.

This includes system-wide legislative improvements to the review process for major economic projects that will establish clear timelines, reduce duplication and regulatory burdens, and focus resources on large projects where the potential environmental impacts are the greatest. 

The Economic Action Plan proposes investments totalling $165 million over two years for responsible resource development that creates jobs while protecting the environment. This includes:

  • $54 million over two years to renew the Major Projects Management Office initiative to support effective project approvals.
  • $13.6 million over two years to support consultations with Aboriginal peoples to ensure that their rights and interests are respected.
  • $35.7 million over two years to support responsible energy development. This includes:
    • New regulations which will enhance the existing tanker inspection regime by strengthening vessel inspection requirements.
    • Appropriate legislative and regulatory frameworks related to oil spills, and emergency preparedness and response.
    • A review of handling processes for oil products by an independent international panel of tanker safety experts.
    • Improved navigational products, such as updated charts for shipping routes.
    • Research to improve our scientific knowledge and understanding of marine pollution risks, and to manage the impacts on marine resources, habitats and users in the event of a marine pollution incident.
  • $13.5 million over two years to strengthen pipeline safety.
  • $47 million over two years to the Northern Pipeline Agency to support federal regulatory responsibilities related to the Alaska Pipeline Project.
  • $1 million over two years to expand Metal Mining Effluent Regulations to non-metal diamond and coal mines.
  • Extension of the temporary 15-per-cent Mineral Exploration Tax Credit for flow-through share investors for an additional year.
  • Amendment of the Coasting Trade Act to improve access to modern, reliable seismic data for offshore resource development.