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Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

Raison d’être

NRCan works to improve the quality of life of Canadians by ensuring that our natural resources are developed sustainably, providing a source of jobs, prosperity and opportunity, while preserving our environment and respecting our communities and Indigenous peoples.

Mandate and role

Canada map

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Map locating NRCan offices and laboratories in Canada.

The Minister of Natural Resources has responsibilities in relation to 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, the Forestry Act, the Energy Efficiency Act and the Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act. The Department also works in areas of shared responsibilities with provinces, which includes the environment, public safety, economic development, science and technology, and consultations with Indigenous peoples. To fulfil its responsibilities, the Department relies on a number of instruments (e.g. policy, regulation, statutory transfers, grants and contributions) and key activities (e.g. science and technology, partnerships and communications).

NRCan has offices and laboratories across the country. About one-third of our employees are located in the National Capital Region, with the remainder working in regional offices: Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, the Western and Pacific Regions and Northern Canada.

For more information on the Department’s organizational mandate letter commitments, see the Minister’s mandate letter.

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