Minister Rickford: Canada's Plan for Responsible Resource Development Enhances Maritimes' Energy Potential

SAINT JOHN, June 9, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, today delivered keynote remarks during Saint John Port Days, where he highlighted Canada's plan for Responsible Resource Development and how the federal government's low-tax plan is positioning the Maritimes for jobs and growth opportunities by increasing competitiveness while enhancing environmental protection.

Minister Rickford reinforced the benefits of creating one of the world's most favorable investment climates, noting that the resources sector directly accounts for 12% of New Brunswick's GDP and generates 20,000 jobs. The Harper Government is consistently lowering taxes and opening new markets through free trade agreements, increasing opportunities for economic growth. Milestones in the Government's actions include:

  • Reducing the tax rate on new business investment since 2006 by almost half, from 33 to 17.5 percent;
  • Accelerating the capital cost allowance on equipment used for natural gas development from eight percent to 30 percent; and
  • Expanding the range of equipment that can be deducted under the capital cost allowance for clean energy generation rate of 50 percent.

As a result, according to KPMG, total business tax costs in Canada are now the lowest in the G7 – and 46 percent lower than those in the United States. Canada's overall tax rate on new business investment is 13 percent lower than the OECD average. Canada enjoys the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio of any G7 nation. Canada recently leapt from sixth to second place in Bloomberg's ranking of the most attractive destinations for business.

Thanks to our competitive business environment and world-class shipping capacity, Canada's crude oil exports have soared to historic highs – up by 81% since 2005. We have expanded oil deliveries by shipping to eight new countries: including Chile, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Spain, Singapore and Switzerland. Saint John is well positioned to benefit from opportunities associated with Canada's attractive business environment.

The Maritimes represent the closest location for export to India's west coast from North America.  India's energy demand is expected to increase significantly in the coming years. Europe is increasingly looking to North America as they diversify their sources of oil and gas. Recently, the European Parliament passed a science-based Fuel Quality Directive that recognizes Canadian oil sands as an environmentally responsible source of crude as any other destined for Europe.

Under Canada's plan for Responsible Resource Development, the government has increased tools for the independent National Energy Board (NEB) to protect the environment, including:

  • Increasing annual inspections of oil and gas pipelines by 50 percent and double the number of comprehensive audits to improve pipeline safety across Canada.
  • Introducing new financial penalties on pipeline companies for small infractions to prevent larger incidents from occurring; and
  • Giving the NEB the ability to provide guidance on the use of the best available technologies used in federally-regulated pipeline projects. This includes materials, construction methods, and emergency response techniques.

This past December, the Government introduced the Pipeline Safety Act, which includes proposals that require pipeline companies hold a minimum level of accessible financial resources to ensure they can respond quickly to pipeline incidents; and introducing absolute liability for all NEB-regulated pipelines, meaning that companies will be liable for costs and damages irrespective of fault — up to $1 billion for major oil pipelines.

Quotes

"Canada's plan for Responsible Resource Development is supporting the Maritimes' energy and resource potential. We are delivering tangible measures that enhance industry's ability to create jobs and contribute to the Canadian economy. Our low-tax plan is helping improve the Maritimes' competitiveness, while increasing environmental protection."

Greg Rickford
Canada's Minister of Natural Resources

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SOURCE Natural Resources Canada

For further information: Alexandra Lemieux, Press Secretary, Office of Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, 613-996-2007 or Media Relations, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, 613-992-4447; The general public may contact: Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. EDT, Telephone: 613-995-0947, E-mail: questions@nrcan.gc.ca

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