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Section I - Overview 2015-2016

2015 – 2016
Report on Plans and Priorities

Natural Resources Canada



The Honourable Greg Rickford, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Natural Resources


© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of  Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), 2015

Cat No. M2-10/2015E-PDF
ISSN 2292-6445

Aussi disponible en français sous le titre :
Ressources naturelles canada
Rapport sur les plans et les priorités

Copies are available through NRCan’s Website:


Minister’s Message

The Honourable Greg Rickford, P.C., M.P., Minister of Natural Resources

As Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, I am pleased to present the 2015–16 Report on Plans and Priorities for Natural Resources Canada.

Natural Resources Canada plays an important role in advancing our government’s priority of creating jobs and opportunities for Canadians. Canada’s natural resource industries account for almost one-fifth of our GDP, provide 1.8 million jobs for Canadians and generate an average of $30 billion of government revenues per year to help pay for important programs like health care, education and infrastructure.

We stand at an important moment in the development of the global energy market. By 2035, global demand for energy will grow by one-third, with most of it coming from non-OECD countries. As a country with abundant supplies and expertise, Canada is well positioned to contribute to North American and global energy security as a reliable, secure and responsible source of energy.

Quite simply, our quality of life is directly tied to the responsible development of our natural resources. Through our plan for Responsible Resource Development, our government is taking key steps to diversify and expand our natural resource markets while improving environmental performance. We have made the review process for major resource projects more predictable and timely, creating certainty for resource industries and investors. We have taken concrete action and will continue to ensure world-class safety systems through strengthened pipeline, offshore and nuclear safety legislation.

Our government understands that the success of our natural resource sector depends upon meaningful and open dialogue with all Canadians and, in particular, productive engagement with Aboriginal communities that delivers results. We have taken practical steps to enhance engagement through, for example, the creation of our Major Projects Management Office-West, which serves as a single window to strengthen engagement with Aboriginal communities on the development of west coast energy infrastructure.

To increase Canada’s competitiveness in global markets, our government will continue to support mining and forest sector innovation and transformation, energy efficiency and the development of clean energy technology. By applying geoscience expertise, we will provide public information on areas of high resource potential and evaluate natural hazards and options to mitigate the risks they pose to public safety.

I invite you to read this report to learn in detail about the initiatives that we are pursuing to help Canada lead the world in innovation, science and technology, and responsible development.

The Honourable Greg Rickford
M.P., P.C.
Minister of Natural Resources




Section I: Organizational Expenditure Overview

Organizational Profile

Minister: The Honourable Greg Rickford, P.C., M.P.

Deputy head: Bob Hamilton

Ministerial portfolio:

Year established: 1994

Main legislative authorities:

Organizational Context

Raison d’être

The vision of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is to improve the quality of life of Canadians by creating a sustainable resource advantage.  It seeks to achieve this vision by working to improve the competitiveness of the natural resource sectors and to grow their contribution to Canada’s economy. NRCan supports the responsible development of Canada’s resources in a manner that advances the country’s global standing as a leader on the environment, and uses its knowledge and expertise of Canada’s landmass to support the safety and security of citizens.


The Minister of Natural Resources has responsibilities under more than 30 acts of Parliament. The Minister’s core powers, duties and functions are set forth in the Department of Natural Resources Act, the Resources and Technical Surveys Act and the Forestry Act. NRCan also works in areas of shared responsibilities with provinces.

To deliver on its responsibilities, NRCan relies on a number of instruments. It uses science and technology (S&T) to help address priorities and to plan for the future. It develops policies, programs, and regulations that help create a sustainable resource advantage, supporting strong, competitive natural resource sectors that are environmentally and socially responsible. And it uses partnerships and international collaboration to help drive progress on natural resource issues important to Canadians. More broadly, the Department plays a critical role in Canada’s future, contributing to high-paying jobs, business investment and overall economic growth in Canada’s natural resource sectors.

NRCan has offices and laboratories from coast to coast to coast. About half of its occupied facilities are in the National Capital Region, with the remainder being distributed from Atlantic Canada, through Quebec and Ontario, to the Western and Pacific Regions and northern Canada.

Strategic Outcomes and Program Alignment Architecture

Strategic Outcome 1: Canada’s Natural Resource Sectors are Globally Competitive

  • Program 1.1: Market Access and Diversification

    • Sub-Program 1.1.1: Mineral and Metal Markets Access and Development

    • Sub-Program 1.1.2: Forest Products Market Access and Development

    • Sub-Program 1.1.3: Energy Market Regulation and Information

  • Program 1.2: Innovation for New Products and Processes

    • Sub-Program 1.2.1: Mining Innovation

    • Sub-Program 1.2.2: Forest Sector Innovation

    • Sub-Program 1.2.3: Geospatial Innovation

  • Program 1.3: Investment in Natural Resource Sectors

    • Sub-Program 1.3.1: Mineral Investment

    • Sub-Program 1.3.2: Targeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI)

    • Sub-program 1.3.3: Geo-Mapping for Energy and Minerals

    • Sub-program 1.3.4: New Energy Supply

  • Program 1.4: Statutory Programs – Atlantic Offshore

Strategic Outcome 2: Natural Resource Sectors and Consumers are Environmentally Responsible

  • Program 2.1: Energy-Efficient Practices and Lower-Carbon Energy Sources

    • Sub-Program 2.1.1: Renewable Energy Deployment

    • Sub-Program 2.1.2: Support for Clean Energy Decision-Making

    • Sub-Program 2.1.3: Alternative Transportation Fuels

    • Sub-Program 2.1.4: Energy Efficiency

  • Program 2.2: Technology Innovation

    • Sub-Program 2.2.1: Materials for Energy

    • Sub-Program 2.2.2: Green Mining

    • Sub-Program 2.2.3: Clean Energy Science and Technology

  • Program 2.3: Responsible Natural Resource Management

    • Sub-Program 2.3.1: Forest Ecosystem Science and Application

    • Sub-Program 2.3.2: Groundwater Geoscience

    • Sub-program 2.3.3: Environmental Studies and Assessments

    • Sub-program 2.3.4: Radioactive Waste Management

    • Sub-program 2.3.5: Earth Observation for Responsible Resource Development

Strategic Outcome 3: Canadians have Information to Manage their Lands and Natural Resources, and are Protected from Related Risks

  • Program 3.1: Protection for Canadians and Natural Resources

    • Sub-Program 3.1.1: Explosives Safety and Security

    • Sub-Program 3.1.2: Materials and Certification for Safety and Security

    • Sub-Program 3.1.3: Forest Disturbances Science and Application

    • Sub-Program 3.1.4: Climate Change Adaptation

    • Sub-Program 3.1.5: Geohazards and Public Safety

  • Program 3.2: Landmass Information

    • Sub-Program 3.2.1: Essential Geographic Information

    • Sub-Program 3.2.2: Canada’s Legal Boundaries

    • Sub-Program 3.2.3: Polar Continental Shelf Logistics Support

    • Sub-Program 3.2.4: United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

  • Program 4.1: Internal Services


Organizational Priorities

NRCan has identified five priorities critical to meeting its strategic outcomes, thereby supporting the Government of Canada’s priorities. These priorities have guided, and continue to guide, the delivery of results. NRCan’s success in delivering on each priority will be assessed in the corresponding Departmental Performance Report.

Details on each of the priorities and the plans and commitments for achieving them are presented below.

Organizational Priorities
Priority Type Strategic Outcome
Expand markets and global partnerships Previously Committed to SO 1 Canada’s Natural Resource Sectors are Globally Competitive

SO 2 Natural Resource Sectors and Consumers are Environmentally Responsible


Why is this a priority?

Market access for natural resource products and services generates significant benefits to Canadians. With slower-than-anticipated economic growth and increasing domestic supply of oil and gas in the United States together with high demand for natural resources in fast-growing economies in the Asia-Pacific region, Canada must focus on expanding and diversifying its markets, for example by supporting the expansion of energy infrastructure, and on positioning itself as a reliable and responsible supplier worldwide.

What are the plans for meeting this priority?

To support this priority, NRCan will focus on promoting Canada as a responsible supplier of natural resource products and services in both existing and emerging markets, including addressing market barriers. Partnerships with industry and other government departments will also be leveraged to contribute to the expansion of markets. NRCan will also continue its involvement in various international fora to exercise its leadership and promote Canada’s natural resource interests.

Market Access and Diversification (Program 1.1)

NRCan will promote Canada globally as a reliable and responsible energy, forest product and mineral resource developer through international bilateral and multilateral engagement, advocacy and communications, by supporting government activities to develop trade and investment markets in the Asia-Pacific region (e.g., China, India, Korea).  In partnership with Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), NRCan will lead Canada’s contribution to the G7 energy initiatives to respond to regional energy security issues and the G20 energy-related initiatives leading up to Turkey’s G20 Presidency in 2015. NRCan will also build on Canada’s renewed partnership with the United States, as strengthened through the 2014 signing of the Canada-US Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Cooperation on Energy; and trilateral North American cooperation, aimed at building the most competitive and dynamic energy region in the world will be advanced through the Canada-US-Mexico Memorandum of Understanding (also signed in 2014).

Building on NRCan’s efforts to promote Canada’s interests, jobs and the economy, including successful efforts advocating for a more science- and fact-based approach to the European Union’s recently passed Fuel Quality Directive, NRCan will continue to analyze and address market barriers for oil sands, shale gas and alternative fuels (e.g., ethanol, biodiesel, natural gas). This will be undertaken by monitoring developments on low-carbon fuel standards in the US and Europe, and by monitoring and developing Canada’s position on shale gas and hydraulic fracturing. NRCan will also continue its policy analysis on market access issues, such as oil and gas pipelines, LNG export facilities, potential for penetration of Canadian oil and gas into new markets, and increased use of Canadian oil and gas to meet domestic energy needs.

In cooperation with domestic partners, NRCan will work to effectively engage communities on the development of energy infrastructure, including implementing the Government’s response to the report of the Special Federal Representative on West Coast Energy Infrastructure. Through its Major Projects Management Office – West, NRCan will coordinate extensive engagement with First Nations to better understand their perspectives on issues related to energy projects, and work with other federal departments to identify concrete actions to address community interests and concerns.

In partnership with forest product associations and provincial governments, NRCan will support market development, market access and acceptance activities in both North American and offshore markets to expand opportunities for the export of Canada’s forest products. The Department will provide financial contributions and science-based information to industry and international partners to support the development and dissemination of information products that promote the environmental reputation of Canada's forest sector in international markets. 

The Department will ensure minerals, metals and mining interests, issues and perspectives are represented and given due consideration in the development of domestic and international trade policies and agreements. NRCan will continue to implement Canada's international obligations under the Kimberley Certification process.

Investment in Natural Resource Sectors (Program 1.3)

NRCan will promote Canadian best practices in responsible mineral resource governance and activities related to the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility.

Energy-Efficient Practices and Lower-Carbon Energy Sources (Program 2.1)

NRCan will advance Canada’s energy and technology interests at environmental and climate-related international fora (e.g., United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the North American Leaders Summit, and the Clean Energy Ministerial process), with the aim of helping to ensure that Canadian objectives are reflected in the outcomes of the discussions.

Building on the accomplishments of the Regulatory Cooperation Council, NRCan will continue to lead Canada’s collaboration with the United States to modernize energy use and efficiency, which could include closer collaboration on harmonized energy efficiency performance standards and labelling. These actions along with other activities led by NRCan in favour of greater energy efficiency will position Canadian companies to be increasingly competitive in a multi-billion global market for energy efficient goods.


Priority Type Strategic Outcome

Unlock resource potential through responsible development

Previously Committed to

SO 1 Canada’s Natural Resource Sectors are Globally Competitive

SO 2 Natural Resource Sectors and Consumers are Environmentally Responsible

SO 3 Canadians have Information to Manage their Lands and Natural Resources, and are Protected from Related Risks


Why is this a priority?

The responsible development of Canada’s natural resources is critical to our current and future prosperity. Over the next 10 years, planned investments could reach $675 billion in hundreds of major energy, mining and forest sector projects across all regions – spurring jobs, economic growth and significant tax revenue for public expenditures such as health care, education and infrastructure. Seizing this opportunity requires geoscience knowledge, investment, capital, energy and other infrastructure, an efficient and effective regulatory system, and meaningful consultation and engagement with Aboriginal people.

What are the plans for meeting this priority?

Efforts supporting this priority will focus on the provision of expertise as well as continuous improvements to the regulatory process and major project reviews. To realize economic opportunities, NRCan must put in place the necessary conditions to support responsible resource development, including developing geoscience knowledge, attracting investment and capital, and putting the appropriate infrastructure in place. It also requires an efficient and effective regulatory system. Targeted promotion efforts will also be undertaken to attract foreign direct investment and address market access issues.

Market Access and Diversification (Program 1.1)

NRCan will work to further enhance Canada’s world-class safety systems for energy infrastructure, including for pipelines, offshore, and nuclear, and continue to support efforts related to marine and rail. For example, NRCan will continue to play a lead role in implementing the Government’s plan for Responsible Resource Development. It will also build on partnerships with provinces and territories through venues such as the Energy and Mines Ministers Conference and the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers to identify areas for collaboration, oversee deliverables, and work on common messaging and cooperation in international arenas.

NRCan will establish a sound liability, legislative and regulatory regime by: (1) implementing the Energy Safety and Security Act and the Pipeline Safety Act, and developing supporting regulations; (2) developing Occupational Health and Safety regulations; (3) seeking National Energy Board (NEB) guidance on the application of “best available technology” to federally regulated pipelines; and (4) completing the entry into force of the Nuclear Liability and Compensation Act.

The Department will promote offshore oil and gas development through several actions, including finalizing the Canada-Quebec Offshore Accord legislation and updating rules and practices in the Atlantic offshore through the land tenure process.

Innovation for New Products and Processes (Program 1.2)

The Department will participate in the Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development through its funding program, the Strategic Partnerships Initiative, by funding economic development projects related to land reclamation, integrated natural resource development, bioenergy, and tenure modernization.

Investment in Natural Resource Sectors (Program 1.3)

To attract investment in Canada’s natural resources, NRCan will highlight Canada’s positive investment climate. It will generate new geoscience maps and data sets to help industry to determine Canada's mineral and energy resource potential.

The Department will also collaborate with northern stakeholders, such as northern communities and institutions to engage and mobilize northerners and their institutions to maximize benefits for northerners from Geo-Mapping for Energy and Minerals (GEM) program activities and knowledge, and support evidence-based land use planning in Canada's North. 

Energy-Efficient Practices and Lower-Carbon Energy Sources (Program 2.1)

NRCan will continue to monitor the Federal Loan Guarantee for the Lower Churchill Hydroelectricity Projects.

Responsible Natural Resource Management (Program 2.3)

NRCan will provide geoscience expertise to support environmental assessments under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (2012) and northern legislation and for Mineral and Energy Resource Assessment requirements.

A final technical report evaluating the use of Earth Observation technology in support of improved regulatory monitoring and environmental performance in the Alberta oil sands region will be delivered to provincial and federal regulators, and industry stakeholders.

Protection for Canadians and Natural Resources (Program 3.1)

NRCan will deliver public geoscience, tools, information and knowledge to federal and territorial governments to increase their understanding of changes to the climate and how they impact Northern infrastructure requirements and constraints, such as those imposed by changes to permafrost.

NRCan will conduct inspections on explosives safety and security, and aim to improve compliance as the new, modernized 2013 Explosives Regulations are being implemented.

Landmass Information (Program 3.2)

NRCan will continue to collaborate with the departments of Fisheries and Oceans, and Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development as well as with international partners to acquire and archive scientific data for successful completion of the second survey mission to the Arctic Ocean. 

Internal Services (Program 4.1)

Further to the December 2014 passage of the Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act, NRCan will play a leadership role internationally to deter corruption and to enhance transparency and accountability, delivering on the Prime Minister’s commitment to implement mandatory reporting standards for the extractive sector beginning in June 2015.   


Priority Type Strategic Outcome
Innovate for competitiveness and environmental performance Previously Committed to SO 1 Canada’s Natural Resource Sectors are Globally Competitive

SO 2 Natural Resource Sectors and Consumers are Environmentally Responsible


Why is this a priority?

Innovation is critical to both resource sector competitiveness and improved environmental performance, contributing to increased productivity, lower costs, value-added and new products, and helping to meet environmental standards and regulations.

What are the plans for meeting this priority?

Commitments supporting this priority will focus on research, development and demonstration projects within government as well as in partnership with industry, academia, and other government departments to foster innovation in the natural resource sectors.

Market Access and Diversification (Program 1.1)

NRCan will finalize the implementation of a Government-owned, Contractor-operated model for Atomic Energy of Canada Limited’s (AECL’s) Nuclear Laboratories.

Innovation for New Products and Processes (Program 1.2)

Research, development and demonstration projects are key to showcasing innovation and reducing business risk.

NRCan will support the forest sector’s efforts to expand opportunities in bioenergy, bio-products and next-generation building materials, and to add more value to its products. NRCan will work with the Forest Products Association of Canada and FPInnovations to develop and gain acceptance of the Forest Industry Innovation Framework, to catalyze and align forest sector innovation through the innovation system. Through the Forest Innovation Program and the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation Program, the department will continue to provide support for the research, development, testing and commercialization of technologies, processes, and products that enhance the competitiveness of Canada's forest sector.

NRCan will continue to work through the Federal Committee on Geomatics and Earth Observation to implement the Federal Geospatial Platform to ensure that the way the Government shares, uses and manages its location-based information is more efficient and effective for existing and new users.

Energy-Efficient Practices and Lower-Carbon Energy Sources (Program 2.1)

The Department will bolster industry capacity to produce renewable forms of energy by supporting the production of up to 15.7 terawatt-hours of clean electricity through its ecoENERGY for Renewable Power and Wind Power Production Incentive programs and by supporting Canada's alternative fuel production capacity for renewable alternatives to gasoline and diesel through its ecoENERGY for Biofuels program.

Through its ecoENERGY Efficiency program, NRCan will deliver energy efficiency programing that saves Canadian consumers and businesses 36-44 petajoules of energy and $1 billion per year in 2016, which is equivalent to the energy required by 330,000 to 410,000 households over one year (excluding transportation requirements). NRCan also aims to help Canadian businesses reduce their energy costs; improve industrial productivity and competitiveness; support energy market diversification with the promotion of products, services, and technologies; and build public confidence by improving environmental performance and reducing wasteful energy use. NRCan will facilitate the registration of 9,000 buildings in the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Benchmarking tool; provide energy management workshop training to 1,550 industrial and building participants and provide training for 5,200 transportation professionals; facilitate the registration of 15,000 vehicles in the SmartWay Transport Partnership; and support 5 new companies to undertake the ISO50001 energy management standard.

Technology Innovation (Program 2.2)

To further support environmental performance, NRCan will implement clean energy technology projects with industry, academia and other government departments and agencies to research, develop and demonstrate innovative solutions to environmental challenges in the energy sector. This includes research activities that support the responsible development and use of energy resources in areas such as clean electricity and renewables, fossil fuels, and energy use.

Through the ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative, the Department will manage contribution agreements in energy research and development and demonstrations.

The Department will present to industry one advanced material technology to be identified for implementation in the design or processing components of energy efficient vehicles produced in North America.

NRCan will support responsible resource management by demonstrating key environmental technologies for green mining to industry and other stakeholders.

The department will improve the security of supply of medical isotopes by investing in the development of alternative technologies through the Isotope Technology Acceleration Program (ITAP), in support of the Government of Canada's medical isotope strategy to diversify sources of supply, minimize radioactive waste and eliminate the use of highly enriched uranium in the production of medical isotopes. 


Priority Type Strategic Outcome

Leverage S&T knowledge for safety and security risk management

Previously Committed to

SO 2 Natural Resource Sectors and Consumers are Environmentally Responsible

SO 3 Canadians have Information to Manage their Lands and Natural Resources, and are Protected from Related Risks


Why is this a priority?

NRCan has an important role in preparing for and managing threats and emergencies associated with natural and man-made hazards, including earthquakes, forest fires and industrial incidents; as well as to manage radioactive waste. Furthermore, NRCan plays a key role in providing up-to-date information on our natural resources and landmass through Open Government, a whole-of-government initiative to ensure Canadians have easy access to the right information, in the right format, in a timely manner.

What are the plans for meeting this priority?

Key commitments that will support this priority will focus on interdepartmental emergency management, nuclear waste management, climate change adaptation and the dissemination of expertise to support the management of land boundaries and natural hazards (e.g., earthquakes, forest pests).

Responsible Natural Resource Management (Program 2.3)

To support nuclear waste management, the Department will complete the commissioning and continue operations of the new water treatment plants at the new Port Hope and Port Granby facilities and start construction for the new Long-Term Waste Management Facility for the Port Granby Project. The Department also expects to tender and issue a contract for construction of the Port Granby Long-Term Waste Management Facility.

Through the Nuclear Legacy Liabilities Program, NRCan will complete activities to support the transition of nuclear decommissioning and waste management responsibilities at the Nuclear Laboratories to the Government-owned, Contractor-operated management model.

Protection for Canadians and Natural Resources (Program 3.1)

NRCan will maintain the safety of the public and infrastructure by certifying, to a national standard, individual inspectors performing non-destructive testing (NDT).

The Department will advance the National Forest Pest Strategy of the Forest Pest Working Group of the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers by updating strategic S&T priorities for the next 5 years, NRCan will also contribute science to help slow the eastward spread of Mountain Pine Beetle and advance early intervention strategies for emerging outbreaks of spruce budworm in eastern Canada.In partnership with provincial and territorial governments, NRCan will develop and disseminate knowledge on a range of forest-related issues including, climate adaptation and wildland fires.

NRCan will collaborate in the interdepartmental Tsunami Notification Networking Group and in the multi-stakeholder Early Warning System Initiative to ensure that geohazards expertise, tools and resources (including seismic hazard models and methodologies, plate boundary-based research, post-event rupture mechanism assessment, and risk assessment tools) are made available to stakeholders.

Landmass Information (Program 3.2)

In support of Canada’s coordinated efforts to respond to emergencies, NRCan will provide to emergency management organizations mapping products and services showing the extent of flooding in near real time; this information will be derived from geoprocessing of Radarsat-2 and ancillary information.


Priority Type Strategic Outcome
Increase the effectiveness and efficiency of NRCan operations Previously Committed to Program 4.1 – Internal Services


Why is this a priority?

NRCan strives to serve Canadians in the most effective and efficient manner possible, ensuring value for money and delivering results. To support a well-managed, high-performing department and to deliver internal services more efficiently, NRCan is transforming its business processes and use of technology.

What are the plans for meeting this priority?

NRCan will identify opportunities for the integration of requirements from Treasury Board’s Open Government Directive – which aims to maximize the availability of government information and data –into NRCan’s existing science and technology policies and reporting.          

The Department will continue to deliver its Science Promotion Strategy, which aims to demonstrate the impact and benefit to Canadians of NRCan’s science and research, and helps to increase the S&T literacy of Canadians. NRCan will expand the reach of its science by using partnerships and new media tools to deliver information on its science and research activities.

NRCan will assess its specific computing needs to support science, and will work to improve capabilities in partnership with Shared Services Canada, by leveraging high-performance computing infrastructure.

The Department will document and track NRCan’s Signature S&T projects, including the introduction of a performance measurement framework to better assess and convey the relevance, quality and impact of the Department’s S&T expertise. 

NRCan will continue to champion the Blueprint 2020 vision through a broad range of initiatives aimed at advancing a whole-of-government approach and a modern, networked, responsive Public Service.

NRCan will also continue to implement the Government of Canada’s Web Renewal Initiative in accordance with direction from the Treasury Board Secretariat.

As the department continues to implement key government-wide initiatives such as the Performance Management program for employees and GCDOCS, it will focus its first full year post implementation on change management and improving performance.

The Department will also analyze re-accommodation options for program activities currently housed at the Booth Street Complex, as well as Earth Materials Collections housed at Tunney's pasture.

The Department will revisit its building emergency procedures, and enhance physical security to better protect its employees and assets.

NRCan will review and implement a new IT governance structure to ensure the protection and security of the Department’s IT assets against a rapidly evolving cyber threat environment. NRCan will enhance its cyber security technologies, working closely with Shared Services Canada and other partners.

Risk Analysis

Canada’s natural resource sectors currently support 1.8 million jobs, account for almost 20% of our GDP and provide approximately $32 billion in tax revenues, which help support other government programs.

The Department recognizes that a solid understanding of the risk environment is fundamental to achieving its Strategic Outcomes. Its most predominant risks, namely those that have influenced the establishment of NRCan’s Organizational Priorities, are described below.


Planned Expenditures

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)

Main Estimates

Planned Spending

Planned Spending

Planned Spending





Information on changes from 2015-16 to 2017-18 can be found in the narrative following the Budgetary Planning Summary for Strategic Outcomes and Programs Table.

Human Resources (Full-time equivalents [FTEs])







FTEs are extracted from the financial system and meet the following definition as set out by Treasury Board Secretariat: A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. Full-time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.

Budgetary Planning Summary for Strategic Outcome(s) and Program(s) (dollars)
Strategic Outcome(s), Program(s) and Internal Services 2012–13
Forecast Spending
Main Estimates
Planned Spending
Planned Spending
Planned Spending
Strategic Outcome 1: Canada’s Natural Resource Sectors are Globally Competitive
Market Access and Diversification 55,420,361 59,733,334 60,560,771 48,685,006 48,685,006 46,583,308 31,935,098
Innovation for New Products and Processes 93,948,144 94,093,063 72,190,323 83,438,001 83,438,001 95,060,475 54,438,960
Investment in Natural Resource Sectors 73,319,149 65,333,593 62,966,653 54,230,114 54,230,114   54,864,751 54,858,818
Statutory Programs – Atlantic Offshore* 684,964,769 795,884,721 1,080,983,000 1,181,938,140 1,181,938,140 1,108,579,456 1,141,500,327
Subtotal 907,652,423 1,015,044,711 1,276,700,747 1,368,291,261 1,368,291,261 1,305,087,990 1,282,733,203
Strategic Outcome 2: Natural Resource Sectors and Consumers are Environmentally Responsible
Energy-Efficient Practices and Lower-Carbon Energy Sources 342,424,547 314,652,883 303,636,248 253,978,461 253,978,461 187,217,607 137,640,376
Technology Innovation 152,200,348 155,738,548 148,670,865 126,472,078 126,472,078 112,852,111 109,502,195
Responsible Natural Resource Management** 236,874,939 282,047,031 275,118,765 193,117,981 193,117,981 165,816,726 133,287,595
Subtotal 731,499,834 752,438,462 727,425,878 573,568,520 573,568,520 465,886,444 380,430,166
Strategic Outcome 3: Canadians have Information to Manage their Lands and Natural Resources, and are Protected from Related Risks
Protection for Canadians and Natural Resources 55,604,146 65,535,095 67,856,955 58,672,639 58,672,639 59,053,121 51,531,732
Landmass Information** 90,961,341 73,828,231 80,837,312 71,155,143 71,155,143 51,472,071 50,602,011
Subtotal 146,565,487 139,363,326 148,694,266 129,827,782 129,827,782 110,525,192 102,133,743
Internal Services Subtotal 181,093,220 184,198,094 169,320,985 142,789,148 142,789,148 128,635,058 125,778,010
Total 1,966,810,964 2,091,044,593 2,322,141,876 2,214,476,711 2,214,476,711 2,010,134,684 1,891,075,122

* Statutory Programs- Atlantic Offshore: As per the various Atlantic Offshore Accords, the Government of Canada receives royalties for offshore oil and gas production and subsequently pays an equal amount to the provinces of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador..

** There was a slight change in the 2013-14 PAA structure at the sub-activity level that affects this table. A portion of expenditures previously reported under Landmass Information under Strategic Outcome 3 is now being reported under Responsible Natural Resource Management under Strategic Outcome 2. In 2012-13, expenditures in the amount of $560,000 have not been adjusted to transfer the expenditures from Landmass Information to Responsible Natural Resource Management as it was not considered a material amount..

Planned spending declines by $323 million, or 15%, from 2015-16 to 2017-18. This is attributable mainly to:

  • A decrease under the Offshore Atlantic Accords, specifically related to agreements between the Government of Canada and the province of Nova Scotia.  As the majority of the payments are related to revenues, the planned spending trend fluctuates depending on a number of factors such as production and pricing levels.
  • A decline in program funding profile for several programs, the most significant of which are:
    • ecoENERGY for Renewable Power;
    • Port Hope Area Initiative; and
    • United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea – Mapping of the North Pole.

    Offset by an increase in Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s (SDTC) Sustainable Development Tech Fund.

  • The sunsetting of several programs or initiatives in 2015-16 or 2016-17, including:
    • ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative;
    • ecoENERGY Efficiency;
    • ecoENERGY for Biofuels;
    • Forest Innovation and Expanding Market Opportunities;
    • Wind Power Production Incentive;
    • Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation; and
    • International Climate Change Participation/Negotiations and the Clean Energy Dialogue

In addition, the Major Projects Management Office sunsets at the end of 2014-15.

Government decisions on sunsetting programs would be reflected in the Department’s future Budget exercises and Estimates documents.

For the explanation on variances in actual expenditures and forecasted spending between 2012‑13 and 2014-15, refer to the analysis included in the Departmental Spending Trend section that follows.

Alignment of Spending With the Whole-of-Government Framework

Alignment of 2015-16 Planned Spending With the Whole-of-Government Frameworkxi (dollars)
Strategic Outcome Program Spending Area Government of Canada Outcome 2015-16  Planned Spending
1 Canada’s Natural Resource Sectors are Globally Competitive 1.1 Market Access and Diversification Economic Affairs Strong Economic Growth 48,685,006
1.2 Innovation for New Products and Processes Economic Affairs Strong Economic Growth 83,438,001
1.3 Investment in Natural Resource Sectors Economic Affairs Strong Economic Growth 54,230,114
1.4 Statutory Programs – Atlantic Offshore Economic Affairs Strong Economic Growth 1,181,938,140
2 Natural Resource Sectors and Consumers are Environmentally Responsible 2.1 Energy-Efficient Practices and Lower-Carbon Energy Sources Economic Affairs A Clean and Healthy Environment 253,978,461
2.2 Technology Innovation Economic Affairs A Clean and Healthy Environment 126,472,078
2.3 Responsible Natural Resource Management Economic Affairs A Clean and Healthy Environment 193,117,981
3 Canadians have Information to Manage their Lands and Natural Resources, and are Protected from Related Risks 3.1 Protection for Canadians and Natural Resources Social Affairs A Safe and Secure Canada 58,672,639
3.2 Landmass Information Social Affairs A Safe and Secure Canada 71,155,143


Total Spending by Spending Area (dollars)
Spending Area Total Planned Spending
Economic affairs 1,941,859,781
Social affairs 129,827,782
International affairs -
Government affairs -

Departmental Spending Trend

Departmental Spending Trend Graph

Departmental Spending Trend Graph

Text Version

Departmental Spending Trend Graph

The table below illustrates the departmental spending trend, in dollars, for the period 2012-13 to 2017-18.
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
Sunset Programs - Anticipated 0 0 0 250,642 97,077 164,706
Statutory 749,124 857,351 1,137,006 1,238,353 1,159,871 1,191,869
Voted 1,217,687 1,233,694 1,185,136 976,123 850,263 699,206

For fiscal year 2012-13 and 2013-14, spending represents the actual expenditures as reported in the Public Accounts. For fiscal year 2014-15, spending represents forecasted expenditures as of the end of November 2014. For the period 2015-16 to 2017-18, spending reflects approved funding by Treasury Board to support the departmental strategic outcomes as well as anticipated renewals of some programs sunsetting during this period. Anticipated renewals are included in order to give a more reasonable picture of the future of the department since these are programs that have existed for a considerable period and which the department believes could be renewed. Amounts included as anticipated are not included in any other tables within this document. 

As indicated in the chart above, NRCan’s forecasted spending for 2014-15 is $2.322 billion, an increase of $0.36 billion, or 18%, from 2012-13 spending of $1.967 billion. This increase is mainly due to:

  • Increase in statutory payments pursuant to the Atlantic Offshore Petroleum Accord Acts. Under these Acts, the revenues (e.g., royalties) from offshore resources are collected by the Receiver General for Canada. Once collected, NRCan transfers a like amount to Newfoundland and Labrador or Nova Scotia. Royalty revenues, in particular, are a function of variables such as international crude oil prices and offshore oil and natural gas production and costs that fluctuate depending on global commodity markets. Correspondingly, the transfers are subject to equivalent variations in any given period.
  • An increase in program funding profile:
    • Increase in the Nuclear Legacy Liabilities Program;
    • Increase in ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative;
    • Increase in ecoENERGY for Renewable Power;
  • A decrease in program funding profile:
    • Decrease in the Clean Energy Fund;
    • Decrease in ecoENERGY for Biofuels;
    • Decrease in Wind Power Production Incentive program;
    • Decrease in Forest Innovation and Expanding Market Opportunities;
    • Decrease in Revitalization of Satellite Station Facilities; and
    • Decrease for the Investment in Forest Industry Transformation Program.
  • The sunsetting of the following programs in 2012-13 and 2013-14:
    • Advertising Campaign; and
    • African Model Forest Initiative.
  • The start of the following programs in 2013-14 and 2014-15:
    • Stakeholder Engagement and Outreach Campaign; and
    • United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea - Mapping the North Pole.
  • The savings measures announced in Budget 2012.

For the explanation on variances in planned spending between 2015-16 and 2017-18, refer to the analysis included in the Planned Expenditures section earlier in this document. 

Estimates by Vote

For information on NRCan’s organizational appropriations, consult the 2015–16 Main Estimates on the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat websitexii.


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