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Message from the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources

In the wake of the most destructive wildfire season in Canadian history, Canadians are feeling the effects of climate change. No region of the country is immune. From coast to coast to coast, extreme weather events are escalating in frequency and severity. There is an urgent need for action to prepare our communities for the impacts of climate change while also ensuring our workers and industries are advancing to seize the economic opportunities associated with taking action to fight climate change. And that’s exactly what the Government of Canada is working toward.

In 2022–2023, Natural Resources Canada continued to deliver on its mandate to improve the lives of Canadians while ensuring that our country’s natural resources are managed sustainably, competitively and inclusively. This report summarizes many of these initiatives, and it highlights the department’s efforts to ensure economic growth, create good jobs in every region of the country and improve the lives and livelihoods of all Canadians.

NRCan is combating the climate crisis by supporting the development of our net-zero economy by 2050 under Canada’s Emissions Reduction Plan. To accelerate Canada’s low-carbon future, we are providing billions of dollars of investment through programs including the Smart Renewable and Electrification Pathways Program, which is deploying renewable energy and electrical grid modernization projects across Canada. These projects will reduce emissions by unlocking the generation of electricity with affordable, reliable and clean forms of energy while creating sustainable jobs for generations to come.

Around the world, governments are building efficient energy systems that require critical minerals. These minerals are the building blocks of clean energy technologies. With global demand growing, we have a generational opportunity for economic growth and job creation in communities across Canada. NRCan has set the stage to seize this generational opportunity by allocating nearly $4 billion in Budget 2022 through Canada’s Critical Minerals Strategy, a strategy that will create jobs, economic growth and opportunities to advance reconciliation with Indigenous people.

We are working with global partners to ensure that Canada becomes the global supplier of choice for clean technologies, energy and the minerals needed to support the worldwide shift to net zero. We are working with international and domestic partners to advance opportunities for collaboration in clean technology and innovation. This collaboration is critical to seizing the generational opportunities afforded by the rapid pace of global investment in cleaner technologies and industries.

To prepare our communities for the significant impacts of climate change, NRCan supported Canada’s first National Adaptation Strategy. This was a vital step in order to adapt to unprecedented environmental conditions, improve human health and well-being and ensure resilience in supporting workers and the economy. To further protect Canadians and Canada’s forests from climate change, the Fighting and Managing Wildfires in a Changing Climate Program and the Emergency Management Strategy provided valuable tools to enhance preparedness and mitigate risks.

NRCan continued to advance meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples through ongoing engagement to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We collaborated with Indigenous communities and partners to foster constructive dialogue to further develop initiatives like the National Benefits-Sharing Framework. We also continued to advance progress within the department by engaging with staff via the Pathways to Reconciliation Initiative, contributing to mutually beneficial relationships — ones founded on shared understanding and mutual respect — with Indigenous communities.

To achieve all of these intersecting goals, NRCan continued to work in collaboration with scientists, labour partners, industry and Indigenous Peoples and governments, alongside federal counterparts, and with provincial, territorial and local governments.

Science and data are essential to every NRCan initiative. The department has invested in modernizing the ways we work, notably through responsibly leveraging the potential of artificial intelligence to increase the value of new innovations through initiatives like the Digital Accelerator. Through world-class research, we informed the policy development process to support decision-making and help mitigate the impacts of natural and human hazards through regulations and policy, together with the support of innovative technologies.

NRCan continued to build on the progress made on all these fronts by advancing regulatory certainty for Canadians and businesses to achieve and maintain a reliable, affordable and clean energy supply that will grow our economy. We have continued to support Canadian workers through the Sustainable Jobs Plan to guide and organize efforts to ensure that workers have the right tools to contribute to the economy of the future. And through the Regional Energy and Resource Tables, we are engaging with provincial and territorial governments, workers, businesses and Indigenous partners to advance progress on vital economic opportunities that will enable Canada to take a coordinated and collaborative approach to creating generational wealth and a sustainable future for generations to come.

As the world accelerates climate action, Canada faces a choice: we can either lead in seizing the historic economic opportunities associated with building a global net-zero economy, or we can let them pass us by, with all the consequences attendant on inaction. As this report shows, we are choosing to plan for the future.

The global race to net zero is a critical economic mission for every region of Canada. By working together with provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners, we are advancing our efforts to support Canadians in seizing the enormous opportunities associated with building a sustainable and prosperous net-zero future.

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson

Minister of Energy and Natural Resources

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