MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Nov. 23, 2012) - The Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, today delivered remarks to the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, where he highlighted the federal government's priority of supporting jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity across Canada. In 2011, natural resource sectors represented 11 percent of Quebec's gross domestic product, providing jobs for nearly 175,000 people.
"The Harper government is fully committed to supporting jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity in Quebec," said Minister Oliver. "Our plans support the almost 200,000 directly employed in Quebec's natural resource sectors and will result in opportunities for thousands more."
Minister Oliver said Responsible Resource Development supports jobs and critical social programs including health and education. The plan also focuses on protecting the environment by increasing the number of inspections by the National Energy Board for oil and gas pipelines by 50 percent annually.
"This government is demonstrating leadership that is resulting in new economic opportunities for Quebecers and all Canadians," said Minister Oliver. "Our commitment to creating new markets is allowing Canadian companies to compete in some of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Keeping taxes low is contributing to an estimated 600 projects over the next 10 years that will increase jobs and economic benefits in Quebec."
This approach to supporting jobs while protecting the environment includes support for independently reviewed proposals that would replace higher-priced foreign oil from countries such as Algeria, Angola and the United Kingdom, with lower-priced Canadian oil.
"We support proposals to replace higher-cost foreign crude that is currently being transported to consumers and refineries in Quebec and Atlantic Canada," said Minister Oliver. "These proposals are subject to independent, science-based review and they would create new jobs and economic growth."
Minister Oliver said these measures send a clear signal to the world that Canada is open for business and further strengthen Canada's position as a reliable global partner of choice for natural resource trade and investment. Independent regulators would conduct a comprehensive objective scientific evaluation to determine whether any specific project passes regulatory muster and is safe for Canadians and safe for the environment.
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