Search for "natural resources"

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Canada Files Claim for North Pole

After years of research costing more than $100 million, Canada submitted its bid for control of a large part of the Arctic seabed to the UN Commission on Limits of the Continental Shelf. Russia and Denmark had already filed their claims, and the United States and Norway were expected to follow suit. The process of determining who has sovereignty over the Arctic, and control over resources there, is expected to take years.

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Mining

Mining is one of Canada’s primary industries and involves the extraction, refining, and/or processing of economically valuable rocks and minerals. Mineral products (including goldsilverironcopperzinc nickelare critical to modern industrial society. Although mining has been key to Canadian settlement and development, in recent decades the industry has also been criticized for its environmental and social impacts. Canada remains one of the world’s leading mining countries and has become a centre of global mining finance and expertise.

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Mineral Resources

Minerals are naturally-occurring, homogeneous geological formations. Unlike fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas, minerals are inorganic compounds, meaning they are not formed of animal or plant matter.

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Industry in Canada

Industry, in its broadest sense, includes all economic activity, but for convenience commentators divide it into three sectors: primary, secondary and tertiary.

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Natural Resources in Canada (Plain-Language Summary)

There are many types of natural resources. These resources are used for goods and services. Some natural resources are air, sunlight, water, land, vegetation, minerals and animals. Canada has many natural resources. Canadians debate about how they should be used. We need natural resources. So, it is important to know how to use them responsibly.

(This article is a plain-language summary of Natural Resources in Canada. If you are interested in reading about this topic in more depth, please see our full-length entry, Natural Resources in Canada.)

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Hydroelectricity in Canada

Hydroelectricity is energy produced from flowing water. The amount of energy produced depends on volume and speed: the more water moving at a fast rate, the more energy produced. For this reason, many hydroelectric stations are built near waterfalls. To produce energy, water is directed toward turbines — sometimes with the help of a dam — causing them to spin. In turn, the turbines make electrical generators spin and electricity is produced. It is a renewable, comparatively nonpolluting energy source and Canada’s largest source of electric-power generation.

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Assets in Canada

An asset is a useful and desirable thing or quality. The word is most often used in business, financial or accounting contexts. Canada has some of the world’s most impressive physical and natural resources. These resources may be viewed as “national assets.” The concept is also useful in personal finance, as housing is most Canadian families’ largest asset.

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Resource Towns in Canada

Resource towns are small, isolated communities built around resource-based industries and transportation. They include mining towns, mill towns, railway towns and fishing villages. Resource development has long been a key factor in shaping the settlement and growth of communities. Some scholars have argued that all Canadian urban growth depends on the production of natural resources. (See also Staple Thesis.) Resource towns have been important agents in this production process. Because they depend on single industries, the economies of resource towns are often unstable.

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Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist

Over the course of several months in 2011 and 2012, a team of thieves stole approximately 2,700 tonnes of maple syrup from a strategic maple syrup reserve maintained in Quebec (see Maple Syrup Industry). The theft has been popularly dubbed as the Great Maple Syrup Heist. At the time of the heist, the stolen maple syrup was valued at nearly $18 million. The heist may be one of the largest thefts in Canadian history.

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Maple Syrup Industry

Canada is the world’s leading producer and exporter of maple products, accounting for 75 per cent of the global market. In 2020, Canadian producers exported over 61 million kg of maple products, with a value of $515 million. The province of Quebec is by far the largest producer, representing 96.4 per cent of Canadian product exports. Maple syrup and maple sugar products are made by boiling down the sap of maple trees. World production of maple syrup and sugar is mainly limited to the Maple Belt, the hardwood forest stretching from the midwestern United States through Ontario, Quebec and New England and into New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island; however, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan also produce some syrup.

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Natural Resources in Canada

Natural resources are aspects of the natural environment from which goods and services can be obtained and produced. They include air, sunlight, water, land, vegetation, animal life and geological resources. People can also value natural resources for their own sake or for their aesthetic qualities. Humans must manage natural resources to sustain the benefits they offer.

Canada is among the most resource-rich countries in the world. Its large and varied natural resources are essential to its economies and cultures. But there are ongoing debates about how to use, share and manage natural resources.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

This is the full-length entry about natural resources in Canada. For a plain-language summary, please see Natural Resources in Canada (Plain-Language Summary).

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Northern Gateway Pipeline Proposal

The $7.9 billion Northern Gateway project was a pipeline proposal that Enbridge put forward in 2008. Northern Gateway would have carried diluted bitumen (“dilbit”) about 1,170 km from Bruderheim, Alberta to a terminal on the Pacific Ocean at KitimatBritish Columbia. Enbridge claimed that the project would create $1.2 billion in tax revenue for BC, as well as 560 jobs. The Federal Court of Appeal overturned the pipeline’s approval in 2016. That same year, the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the project.

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Natural Gas in Canada

Natural gas ranks among the fastest-growing energy sources in Canada and is seen by many in the energy industry as a game-changer, a comparatively clean, low-cost and versatile fuel. It can directly generate power and heat and can be chemically altered to produce a wide range of useful commodity chemicals. It burns cleaner and more efficiently than other fossil fuels, releasing significantly fewer harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. Natural gas is colorless, odourless, shapeless, lighter than air and contains a mixture of several hydrocarbon gases, which are organic compounds consisting of some combination of hydrogen and carbon molecules.

The primary consumers of natural gas are the industrial (54.1 per cent), residential (26.6 per cent) and commercial sectors (19.3 per cent). Canada is the fifth largest natural gas producer after the United States, Russia, Iran and Qatar. Currently, all of Canada’s natural gas exports go to the United States through a network of pipelines, making Canada the largest foreign source of US natural gas imports. At the end of 2016, Canada had 76.7 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves and had produced 152 billion cubic metres of natural gas that year. It is forecasted that global natural gas consumption will double by 2035.

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Commodities in Canada

In commerce, commodities are interchangeable goods or services. Many natural resources in Canada are viewed as commodities. They are a major source of the country’s wealth. Examples of commodities include a barrel of crude oil, an ounce of gold, or a contract to clear snow during the winter. Commodity products often supply the production of other goods or services. Many are widely traded in futures exchanges (see Commodity Trading).

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Sustainability in Canada

Sustainability is the ability of the biosphere, or of a certain resource or practice, to persist in a state of balance over the long term. The concept of sustainability also includes things humans can do to preserve such a balance. Sustainable development, for instance, pairs such actions with growth. It aims to meet the needs of the present while ensuring that future people will be able to meet their needs.