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The measures that matter: How Canada’s natural resources sector is working to protect the environment

Ottawa, December 23, 2014 — Natural resources are essential to our quality of life; they help build, fuel and feed the world. While natural resource production is needed to support growing global prosperity, it is also clear that there are implications for the environment. In a report published today, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce examines the ways in which Canadian industry and governments are addressing the environmental challenges of resource production, specifically within the forestry, mining, and oil and gas sectors.

“The struggle to strike a balance between economic development fuelled by natural resource production and protecting our environment is one of the most critical challenges of our time,” said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “This report examines some steps Canadians are taking to achieve this, and also brings some international context to Canada’s performance.”

For each type of resource, the report provides a brief summary of the harvesting/extraction process and outlines the main environmental challenges posed by each stage of the process. It then describes some of the key strategies industry is using to address that particular environmental impact.

“What emerges from this report is a clear sense that industry and governments have been taking these problems seriously, putting into place new technologies, practices and regulations that are at least equal to, and in some cases better than, other natural resource-producing nations,” added Beatty.

In conclusion, the Canadian Chamber offers a number of recommendations for action by the federal government to help support the continuous improvement in the environmental performance of Canada’s resource sectors:

  • Implement an economy-wide, market-based approach to climate mitigation that includes all greenhouse gas emitters.
  • Among the broad issues which will need to be faced in the coming years, Canada should focus attention on water management issues by introducing a national water strategy developed in concert with relevant stakeholders.
  • Technological development and innovation are crucial to addressing industry’s environmental impacts. Support for research and development and commercialization of novel approaches should remain a government priority.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between business and the federal government. It helps shape public policy and decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada with a network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing some 200,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all regions. News and information are available at or follow us on Twitter @CdnChamberofCom.

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Émilie S. Potvin
Vice President, Public Affairs
Office: 613.238.4000 (231)
Cell: 613.797.1860



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