Sector could create 2.6 million new jobs while setting the foundation for a low-emissions future
VANCOUVER, BC, Aug. 19, 2020 /CNW/ – Today, the national Task Force for Real Jobs, Real Recovery—which represents over a quarter of a million businesses and over 3 million workers across Canada—released Securing Canada’s Economic Future: Natural resources for real jobs and real recovery, a blueprint for Canada’s economic recovery in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Economic modelling conducted for the Task Force indicates that with the right success conditions, natural resources and manufacturing could create up to 2.6 million new jobs and up to a 17 per cent increase in real gross domestic product (GDP). This could amount to a nearly $200-billion increase in potential labour earnings, while still moving Canada towards a low-emissions future.
“We need economic solutions that punch above their weight. It’s the only way to address the significant fallout to our economy caused by COVID-19,” said Stewart Muir. “Projections are for our economy to shrink from 6 to even 7 per cent if we see a second wave in 2020. The good news is that the resource sector can be our engine of growth, while we continue to take meaningful climate action.”
In the first quarter of 2019, resource industries directly contributed $236 billion to Canadian GDP, representing 11.3 per cent of the Canadian economy. The sector’s workers are paid the highest average annual salary of any sector. This means their pay will help to generate the demand for goods and services needed to drive employment in other sectors including retail, real estate, entertainment, hospitality and tourism. An investment in a single oil and gas job creates up to six other jobs across our economy.
The resource sector is also key to economic reconciliation with Indigenous communities and peoples. Indigenous-owned businesses are 40 times more likely to be involved in the mining and oil and gas sectors than the average Canadian business. The resource sector hires twice as many Indigenous employees and pays on average twice as much in wages as other sectors.
Canada is also a global leader in developing resources and manufactures goods with some of the lowest greenhouse gas intensity levels in the world. For example, Canadian potash is produced with only one third of the global average emissions intensity. As the global economy continues to demand resources and energy, there is a net benefit to the world to use Canadian products because of the lower impacts on climate. In addition, we have some of the leading safety measures in the world. Increasingly the sector is sharing its experience integrating resource development with sustainability and best-in-class environmental management with other countries in areas such as mining, chemistry, forestry and pipelines, for example.
“The reality is that the resource sector is foundational to Indigenous people’s success,” said Karen Ogen-Toews, Councillor, Wet’suwet’en First Nation and CEO, First Nations LNG Alliance. “It helps to provide jobs for people in their communities, provide family-supporting wages and empower our nations increasingly as co-managers. If we are going to come back from the COVID-19 pandemic, we need these opportunities.”
The report makes 19 recommendations for how to enable the resource sector to meaningfully advance the prosperity and vitality of Canadian society, communities and workers. It indicates that urgent action is required by federal policy makers in order to realize this vision and emerge—with the support of mining, oil and gas, forestry, chemistry, manufacturing, construction and transportation—from the COVID-19 crisis into a brighter future.
Securing Canada’s Economic Future asserts that global and trade competitiveness will be core determinants of the success of our economic recovery and the return to our standards of living for individuals and families. It also determines that a status quo approach to economic recovery would neglect opportunities to generate significant, sustained and shared benefits for all Canadians.
“Collaborative and ambitious leadership by the federal government, with alignment across all levels of government, stands to unleash the full potential of natural resource industries,” said Muir. “We are hopeful that the federal government will review these recommendations with us and begin implementing them as fast as possible. We simply have no time to waste.”
The Task Force was convened to develop specific recommendations to inform federal policy direction on Canada’s economic recovery. By clearing the way for innovation, the federal government can secure the place of nation-building resource assets in aiding long-term environmental goals as well as securing our prosperity.
The Report includes a series of extensive, wide-ranging recommendations to achieve these goals, among them:
- Mobilizing resource prosperity by leveraging Canada’s world-class industries; advancing regulatory efficiency; attracting capital investment; enhancing critical infrastructure; ensuring access to resource lands; and maximizing Indigenous economic participation
- Building meaningful employment by ensuring job creation; building employment resiliency; advancing Indigenous employment; and enhancing skilled workforce mobility
- Accelerating innovation and environmental competitiveness by aligning climate action and natural resource development; driving challenge-oriented innovation; advancing emissions reduction technologies and plastics innovation; supporting advancements in sustainable forestry and mining; and developing hydrogen and small modular nuclear reactor industries
The Task Force will deliver the report and recommendations to the Federal Government, including the Industry Strategy Council, a federal initiative launched in response to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
ABOUT THE TASK FORCE FOR REAL JOBS, REAL RECOVERY
The Task Force for Real Jobs, Real Recovery is supported by a coalition of over 35 industry associations, unions, professional organizations and Indigenous organizations representing the energy, manufacturing, chemistry, mining, transportation, forestry and construction sectors. A group of 20 expert advisors has been appointed to help develop and communicate a set of policy recommendations for rebuilding Canada’s economic prosperity. The Task Force represents over a quarter of a million businesses and over 3 million workers across Canada.
Details of the economic analysis provided by Dr. G.K. Fellows is available in the appendix of the full report, available at realrecovery.ca/media.
SOURCE Task Force for Real Jobs, Real Recovery
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