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Minister's Message

The Honourable Joe Oliver, P.C., M.P., Minister of Natural Resources

It is my pleasure to present the Departmental Performance Report for Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) for the reporting period ending March 2011.

Canada remains well positioned to face global economic challenges, due in part to the strength of its natural resource sectors. The contributions of the energy, mining and forest sectors to Canada’s economy continue to be significant. In 2010, they accounted for 11.3 percent of real gross domestic product (GDP) and directly employed about 755,000 Canadians across the country. In terms of international trade, natural resources represented 53 percent of Canada’s total merchandise exports that same year.

Our Department’s implementation of the Government’s Economic Action Plan (EAP) commitments has helped position the country’s natural resource sectors to create high-paying jobs for Canadians, increase business investment and contribute to overall economic growth. NRCan also continued to promote and accelerate energy efficiency and clean technologies that are providing energy and environmental benefits to Canadians. Our commitment to the sustainable development of our vast energy resources has enhanced our status as a global energy leader.

The mining sector represents an important source of job creation, as Canada maintained its ranking among the largest producers of metals and mineral products. Our commitment to innovation has provided the geoscience knowledge necessary for private sector exploration and investment decisions and contributed to a better understanding of Canada’s North.

We continued to work toward a more effective and efficient regulatory process for major resource projects. The Major Projects Management Office (MPMO) took further steps to strengthen the alignment of federal and provincial regulatory processes, moving closer to the objective of one-project, one-review.

NRCan also helped Canadian wood producers diversify export market opportunities in key economies, including those of China and South Korea. Our investment in transformative technologies supported innovation and new product development that helped improve the environmental performance and competitiveness of Canada’s forest industry and secured a more prosperous future for communities that depend on the forest sector.

In Canada’s North, our geomapping and geoscience capacity contributed to prosperity and job creation for communities and Canada’s sovereignty. The Department also provided expertise to support Canada’s international efforts to extend jurisdiction over our continental shelf.

Guided by its vision to improve the quality of life of Canadians by creating a sustainable resource advantage, NRCan continues its commitment to strengthening Canada’s future.

The Honourable Joe Oliver
P.C., M.P., Eglinton-Lawrence (Ontario)
Minister of Natural Resources

Section I: Organizational Overview

Raison d’être

NRCan’s vision is to improve the quality of life of Canadians by creating a sustainable resource advantage. It seeks to fulfill this vision by working to: improve the competitiveness of the natural resource sectors; enable the sustainable development of Canada’s resources; and enhance the safety and security of citizens.


The Minister of Natural Resources is specifically responsible for, or has responsibilities under, more than 30 Acts of Parliament1. The Minister's core powers, duties and functions are set forth in the Department of Natural Resources Act2, the Resources and Technical Surveys Act3, and the Forestry Act4. NRCan also works in areas of shared responsibility with the provinces.

Within the Government of Canada, the Minister of Natural Resources also has responsibilities for the natural resources portfolio5, which includes the following:

To deliver on its responsibilities, NRCan relies on a number of tools. It uses science and technology (S&T) to help address priorities and 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. NRCan uses partnerships and international collaboration to help drive progress on natural resources issues that are 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.

Strategic Outcomes and Program Activity Architecture

As outlined in its 2010-11 Program Activity Architecture, NRCan managed its program delivery through three Strategic Outcomes and seven Program Activities designed to achieve expected results, support Government of Canada priorities, and deliver benefits to Canadians.

Program Activity Architecture Diagram

Text Version - Program Activity Architecture

Departmental performance discussed in this report is measured using specific indicators that were developed for the above Strategic Outcomes and Program Activities. In some cases, minor improvements have been made to these indicators (and one new indicator has been added) since the publication of NRCan’s 2010-11 Report on Plans and Priorities14. Descriptions of these changes will appear in the associated endnotes.

At the Strategic Outcome level, NRCan tracks a range of key national macroeconomic and technological indicators that are influenced by departmental programs and activities. At the Program Activity level, performance is assessed against three classes of indicators:

  • Narrow socio-economic and technical measures;

  • Measures of knowledge and innovation15; and,

  • Service standards.

In cases where the Department is reporting on highly specific outcomes (e.g., data on natural hazards), activity-specific performance targets have been established.

Organizational Priorities

NRCan’s 2010-11 Report on Plans and Priorities16 identified seven (7) priorities seen as critical to meeting the Department’s Strategic Outcomes and supporting the Government of Canada’s priorities. Together, these priorities have guided the Department’s policy direction, science and technology initiatives, and program development and delivery. NRCan also successfully delivered on the Government of Canada’s Economic Action Plan17 (see page 36 for details).

The success in delivering each priority is determined by assessing achievements against plans and commitments presented in the 2010-11 Report on Plans and Priorities. The rating criteria provided by the Treasury Board Secretariat are used to establish the status of each priority:

  • Exceeded: More than 100 percent of the expected level of performance for the priority identified in the corresponding RPP was achieved during the fiscal year.

  • Met All: 100 percent of the expected level of performance for the priority identified in the corresponding RPP was achieved during the fiscal year.

  • Mostly Met: 80 to 99 percent of the expected level of performance for the priority identified in the corresponding RPP was achieved during the fiscal year.

  • Somewhat Met: 60 to 79 percent of the expected level of performance for the priority identified in the corresponding RPP was achieved during the fiscal year.

Improving the Performance of the Regulatory System for Project Reviews Type18:
PAA Linkages:
Strategic Outcome 3
Status: Met all

Major resource projects are an important driver of long-term economic growth and job creation for Canada. A federal review process for major resource projects that is timely, predictable, transparent and accountable is critical to the resource sectors’ ability to secure investments for resource development, while maintaining strong environmental protection for Canada.

Key achievements for this priority in 2010-11 include:

  • Developing a whole-of-government strategy to modernize the regulatory review process for natural resource projects.

  • Overseeing 70 major resource project reviews. The target of delivering 80% of the reviews within 8 weeks of their targeted timelines was met (collective target for the various departments and agencies involved). Projects being reviewed represented over $120 billion in potential new investment in Canada and included several high profile projects such as the Northern Gateway Pipeline19, the Prosperity Gold-Copper Mine20 and the Darlington New Nuclear Power Plant21.

  • Supporting the implementation of amendments to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act22 that have resulted in simpler, clearer review processes that improve environmental protection and provide greater certainty to industry.

  • Creating new Participant Funding Programs for the National Energy Board and Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission that allow for more timely and meaningful engagement of the public and Aboriginal groups.

  • Advancing two pilot projects (the Line Creek Coal Mine Expansion23 and the Northwest Transmission projects) with the province of British Columbia to help identify opportunities to improve the integration of federal and provincial review processes.

Competitive Resource Sectors Type
Previously Committed
PAA Linkages:
Strategic Outcomes 1, 2 and 3
Status: Met All

The current and future competitiveness of Canada’s natural resource sectors is dependent on their ability to access markets, increase investments and develop innovative products and processes. Competitive sectors mean jobs in Canada and an improved trade balance.

Key achievements for this priority in 2010-11 include:

  • Contributing to a 119% increase in wood exports to China (valued at $834 million) and a 47% increase in exports to South Korea (valued at $145 million) through the Canada Wood Export Program24.

  • Directly influencing, through the North American Wood First Initiative25, the use of wood in 256 non-residential construction projects in Canada and the United States. This represents an estimated wood sales value of $190 million.

  • Supporting, by means of the Large Scale Wood Demonstration Initiative, 7 domestic and 3 offshore wood demonstration projects to showcase the innovative use of wood in commercial and residential applications. An example is the construction of a bio-energy plant on the University of British Columbia campus, which represents the first large-scale wood project constructed from cross-laminated timber in North America.

  • Providing $25.5 million in funding to FPInnovations26 to carry out research on new and emerging transformative forest products and technologies and $35.4 million to undertake pilot scale demonstrations of new transformative technologies. Fourteen pilot scale demonstration projects were launched in mills across Canada.

  • Inaugurating in February 2011 NRCan’s CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory27 at a new state-of-the-art facility in Hamilton, Ontario. This strategic location positions the Department to enhance partnerships and collaboration on research and innovation in Canada’s industrial sector, particularly in our automotive and manufacturing industries.

  • Spurring green mining innovation across Canada through the Green Mining Initiative28. The program led to significant progress on a number of key R&D projects, including for example the development of a technology that allows for the recovery of gold without the use of cyanide (patenting is currently underway). Further work was done on the use of biomass crops on mine tailings, the feasibility of which continues to be demonstrated.

Clean Energy Type:
Previously Committed
PAA Linkages:
Strategic Outcomes 1 and 2
Status: Met All

The adoption of energy-efficient products and processes by consumers and industries as well as the development of new technologies are critical to position Canada as a global leader on environmental responsibility, ready to compete in a low-carbon economy.
Key achievements for this priority in 2010-11 include:

  • Receiving over 510,000 grant applications over the life of the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes29 program, surpassing its target of 460,000. The ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program helps Canadian homeowners make their homes more energy efficient and reduce their energy-related expenses. Since its inception, the program has led to a reduction of approximately 1.75 megatonnes in GHG emissions, exceeding the target of 1.29 to 1.66 megatonnes.

  • Meeting or surpassing the 2010-11 targets for similar programs such as the ecoENERGY for Buildings and Houses. Overall in 2010-11, NRCan’s energy efficiency programming resulted in energy savings which represent a cumulative annual reduction of more than 5 megatonnes of GHG emissions.

  • Surpassing the objectives of the ecoENERGY for Renewable Power program by signing a total of 104 contribution agreements representing 4458 megawatts (MW) of new renewable power capacity over the life of the program. Under the program, the annual GHG emissions reductions for full-year operation for the 104 projects are expected to be about 6 megatonnes.

  • Installing 523 solar thermal systems in the commercial and institutional sectors and 575 solar water systems in the residential sector under the ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat program, leading to GHG emissions reduction of 10.4 kilotonnes (kt) per year from the 2010-11 installations. In total, this initiative supported 1,120 commercial and institutional projects and 1,154 residential projects, which will lead to GHG emission reductions of 27.7 kt per year.

  • Supporting the research, development and demonstration of cutting-edge clean energy technologies through the ecoENERGY Technology Initiative30 and the Clean Energy Fund31. In particular, focus was put on demonstration projects for Carbon Capture and Storage, with 3 large-scale projects in the design phase.

  • Signing contribution agreements for 66 projects with 21 pulp and paper companies across Canada under the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program32, which are expected to generate 1.7 million MWh/year of new renewable energy (electricity and steam), save 6.8 million GJ/year and reduce GHG emissions.

Managing Nuclear Issues Type:
PAA Linkages:
Strategic Outcomes 1 and 2
Status: Met all

Nuclear energy plays a critical role in Canada’s energy mix. Managing nuclear issues rests upon established policy objectives, involving meeting Canada's energy and environmental needs safely, economically and reliably; reducing costs and risks for taxpayers while maximizing returns on Canada's investments in nuclear; and positioning Canada's nuclear industry to seize domestic and global opportunities.

Key achievements for this priority in 2010-11 include:

  • Implementing Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) Restructuring – leading notably to an agreement in June 2011 to sell the CANDU Reactor Division to the Montreal-based engineering firm SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. (with the transaction closing by October 2011). While this was achieved shortly after the end of the fiscal year, the transaction process was managed during 2010-11 and involved successive phases. The transaction outcome meets the Government's policy objectives, amid challenging domestic and international developments, and is consistent with the Government's approach to fiscal responsibility.

  • Continuing to provide funding to AECL to meet its funding requirements for its commercial operations, including the development of new reactor technology and for the safe and reliable operation of its laboratories.

  • Exploring options for restructuring the Nuclear Laboratories.

  • Continuing our work with Health Canada, as part of the Isotope Supply Initiative (ISI), to ensure that the best possible information on medical radio-isotopes was made available to the medical community in Canada in support of health care mitigation measures.

  • Finalizing four project agreements with collaborators under the Non-reactor-based Isotope Supply Contribution Program33 (NISP) to advance the development of new isotope production technologies, increase the security of supply of medical isotopes and reduce the production of nuclear waste.

Sustainable Resource Development in the North Type:
PAA Linkages:
Strategic Outcomes 1 and 3
Status: Met all

The development of Canada’s North will allow Canadians to realize the vast potential of this region, ensuring prosperity and job creation for Northern communities and strengthening Canada’s sovereignty while creating a sustainable resource future for generations of Canadians.

Key achievements for this priority in 2010-11 include:

  • Providing the geoscience knowledge (maps, databases, publications) necessary to inform effective investment and land-use decisions through the Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals34 (GEM) Program. Industry uptake – such as new discoveries of prospective mineralization and exploration - has been documented in GEM project areas.

  • Providing expertise to support Canada’s submission to extend our continental shelf35 under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). This extension would give Canada the exclusive rights to explore the resources found within its continental shelf. The program remains on track to complete the data collection phase by the end of 2011 and to have the submission prepared by the 2013 deadline.

  • Meeting our targets related to survey and international boundary work, including 668 km of the Nunavut/Northwest Territories boundary, where a significant number of mineral claims and exploration activities are taking place.

  • Successfully delivering the Polar Continental Shelf Program36 , which supports Canadian and international scientists and research teams by providing them with logistical support in the Canadian Arctic. This included efforts to upgrade and expand the Program’s facilities in Resolute as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan.

Integrated Management Excellence Type:
PAA Linkages:
Program Activity 4.1
Status: Met all

Timely and cost-effective internal services are critical to support the performance of the overall organization. 

Overall, NRCan is a well managed organization, as evidenced by the results of the Management Accountability Framework, an assessment by the Treasury Board Secretariat of key management functions in departments.

Key achievements for this priority in 2010-11 include:

  • Implementing decisions made as part of Strategic Review, and setting medium-term corporate priorities and directions to develop capacity and ensure responsiveness and resilience. This will ensure the Department is well positioned to maximize its contribution to the Government of Canada and to Canadians.

  • Further refining our planning process, notably through changes to its approach for the identification and management of risks. The 2011-14 Integrated Business Plan was released in spring 2011.

  • Launching the Integrated Risk Management Policy Framework, which sets the parameters for an enterprise-wide risk management approach, with a view of improving management and performance excellence.

  • Revising our governance structure to streamline, improve efficiency and ensure accountability.

  • Making significant improvements to the Program Activity Architecture and Performance Measurement Framework to better align program results, improve performance monitoring and allow senior management to make strategic resource (re)allocations.

  • Supporting the Departmental Audit Committee (DAC) in completing its planned work, covering the eight core areas of responsibility and providing strategic advice in priority areas.

  • Launching the Key NRCan Competencies to translate the departmental vision and mission into individual behaviours and actions.

Modernizing Infrastructure and Systems Type
PAA Linkages:
Program Activity 4.1
Status: Met all

NRCan's ability to successfully deliver on its mandate and operational priorities is also dependent upon timely financial information and access to adequate facilities.

Key achievements for this priority in 2010-11 include:

  • Implementing a new financial system (SAP/Felix), which was launched on April 1st 2011.

  • Modernizing 12 of NRCan’s laboratories as part of the Modernizing Federal Laboratories Program37, an Economic Action Plan initiative. The projects undertaken were delivered on time and within budget and have led to an improvement in the overall portfolio condition index from poor to fair.

  • Receiving the GTEC Gold Medal38 for the e-functionality of our back office functions.

Risk Analysis

As a large and diverse organization, NRCan prepares for and manages a wide range of risks and opportunities. The Department identifies and responds to these risks via an Integrated Risk Management Policy Framework, which was updated in 2010-11.

The Policy Framework recognizes that NRCan's ability to achieve its strategic outcomes may be impacted by a range of risks, some of which are outside of its direct control, and sets the scope of risk management measures required. It also identifies a broad range of instruments involved in the management of risk, and specifies the related roles, responsibilities, definitions, and guiding principles.

In 2010-11, the Department managed a wide range of risks, as outlined in its Corporate Risk Profile. Some of these risks are discussed below.

Global Economy

Natural resources provided significant benefits to Canadians in 2010

  • 11.3 percent of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP)
  • Directly employed more than 755,000 Canadians across the country
  • Accounted for 23.5 percent of Canada’s total new capital investment

Source: Statistics Canada

While the global economic outlook remains uncertain, Canada has emerged from the economic downturn in a relatively better position than other G-8 countries, due in part to the country’s large and diverse natural resource endowment and its stable investment climate.

Despite this encouraging outlook for Canada, the uneven and uncertain global growth, notably in the US, remains a key risk for our natural resource sectors, and one that NRCan has been managing in 2010-11.

Canada’s Economic Action Plan (EAP) was directly targeted at supporting and helping Canada’s economy remain strong. NRCan was a key contributor of the EAP, delivering more than $650 million in programs for the natural resource sectors that had a direct impact on Canadians and the Canadian economy (for more details on the performance of NRCan’s EAP programs, see page 36).

To ensure that the EAP programs would be delivered on time and within budget, NRCan put in place robust governance and monitoring systems. During 2010-11, two audits of EAP programs were performed and concluded that the programs were properly managed. All ensuing recommendations were addressed, including those related to the improvement of some aspects of the management controls.

Important, longer-term NRCan programs are also directed toward strengthening the resiliency and competitiveness of the Canadian resource sectors and contribute to supporting the natural resource sectors to mitigate economic uncertainties. These include, for example, the Transformative Technologies Program39 for forest products, the Clean Energy Fund40, the Green Mining Initiative41, and the development and implementation of a whole-of-government strategy to modernize the regulatory system for project reviews.

Capacity Management

NRCan manages several high-profile programs that have a limited lifespan; in 2010-11, the majority of the Department’s programs were of this kind. These sunsetting programs require the Department to manage long-lived capital assets and highly qualified personnel in an environment where funding is time-limited. While this ensures that NRCan’s programs are reviewed on a regular basis and that any new programs are aligned to the government’s priorities, there are risks associated with managing in this context.

NRCan managed these risks by strengthening its management practices to ensure proper planning and responsiveness capacity. For example, in 2010-11 the planning and monitoring functions were strengthened by further integrating human resources planning and by enhancing the process for reviewing financial and non-financial performance information on a quarterly basis. All senior committees were tasked with examining approaches to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of their respective areas and to find opportunities to streamline operations. The objective is to ensure that the Department and its corporate infrastructure remain robust, resilient and flexible. Finally, NRCan worked to ensure the continued relevance of its programs: it received more than $660 million in new funding in the federal Budget 2011.

Program-Specific Risks

NRCan monitored on an ongoing basis the progress of all of its programs, notably through the financial and non-financial quarterly reviews. Particular attention was given to high-risk programs such as the restructuring of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL). Various steps were taken to manage these risks, including continuing to provide funding to AECL to ensure the safe and reliable operations of its laboratories. In June 2011, an agreement was reached to sell the CANDU Reactor Division, which will dramatically reduce the risks and costs to taxpayers.

Summary of Performance

Departmental Overview

2010-11 Financial Resources ($ millions)
  Planned Spending Total Authorities Actual Spending
Program Spending 2,756.3 2,859.7 2,253.7
Statutory Programs  - Atlantic Offshore Accords 1,696.4 2,103.3 2,103.3
TOTAL 4,452.7 4,963.0 4,357.0

2010-11 Human Resources (FTEs)
Planned Actual Difference
4,571 4,630 56

Performance by Strategic Outcome

Strategic Outcome 1: Natural resource sectors are internationally competitive, economically productive and contribute to the social well-being of Canadians
Performance Indicator42 Targets Status Results
Canada’s rank of resource-based world trade Favourable 5-year trend in rank position Mostly Met

Canada's Trade Performance Index Ranking
Canada’s ranking relative to other countries has experienced a slightly positive trend over the 2005 to 2009 period (the most recent year for which data is available).

In 2010, natural resources represented 53% of Canada’s total merchandise exports. This is up from the pre-recession share of 43%. The US remains Canada’s most important trade partner, particularly in energy and forestry. China is now Canada’s 2nd most important trading partner.

The Trade Performance Index (TPI) is defined and reported by the International Trade Centre of UNCTAD/WTO.

Program Activity 2009-10
($ millions)
2010–1143 ($ millions) Alignment to Government of Canada Outcomes44
1.1 Economic opportunities for natural resources 274.2 248.1 248.1 263.2 248.7

Strong Economic Growth

1.2 Natural resource-based communities 10.9 11.8 11.8 14.1 12.7 Strong Economic Growth
Total - Strategic Outcome * 285.1 259.9 259.9 277.3 261.4  
* The total for Strategic Outcome 1 does not include the Statutory Programs for the Atlantic Offshore Accords.

Strategic Outcome 2: : Canada is a world leader on environmental responsibility in the development and use of natural resources
Performance Indicator Target Status Results
A. Canada's total annual energy savings due to efficiency.45 Favourable 5-year trend in Petajoules (PJ) saved Met All

Canada's Energy Savings Due to Efficiency
From 2004 to 2008 (the most recent year for which data is available) energy savings due to efficiency in Canada have increased by 11%, from 1086 to 1206 petajoules (PJ) per annum.

The reduction in energy savings from 2006 onwards can be explained in part by the influence of the oil and gas sector, whose energy consumption in this sector has increased from 8% to 22% of industrial energy consumption, and by the economic downturn impact on manufacturing and merchandise transportation. Long term trends (more than 10 years) for energy efficiency in Canada remain positive, with an improvement in energy efficiency of 18% between 1990 and 2008. For more information please see the report Efficiency trends in Canada – 1990-200846.

B. NRCan’s contribution to advancement of innovative and environmentally responsible resource practices in the resource sector measured by uptake of knowledge, technologies, and demonstration projects. Favourable long-term trend in number of publications Met All

Innovative and Environmentally Responsible Practices in the Resource Sector - Scientific and Technical Papers
Over the most recent four-year period for which comparable data are available (2006-2009), NRCan's production of peer-reviewed scientific and technical papers in these areas has increased by 8%, from 295 to 319 publications.

Innovation is critical to improve the environmental performance of the natural resource sectors and of Canada. Furthermore, the environmentally and socially responsible development of natural resources is increasingly seen as a corporate advantage as the world is transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

NRCan supports innovation in this area by working with industries and academia to assume parts of the initial Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) costs, producing knowledge on innovation that is aligned with the priorities of stakeholders and relieving the natural resource sectors of some of the initial RD&D risks and costs that can sometimes be high.

Program Activity 2009-10
($ millions)
2010–1147 ($ millions) Alignment to Government of Canada Outcomes
2.1 Clean Energy 802.5 1,926.4 1,918.7 1,895.2 1,329.6 A Clean and Healthy Environment
2.2 Ecosystem Risk Management 156.5 194.7 205.7 203.0 198.3 A Clean and Healthy Environment
Total – Strategic Outcome 2 959.0 2,121.1 2,124.4 2,098.2 1,527.9  

The variance between the planned and actual spending is mainly attributable to the reprofiling of the funding for key programs such as the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program and the Clean Energy Fund. Other changes include the reduction of expenditures associated with the Biofuels Producer Incentive Program. These reprofiling have not affected NRCan’s ability to deliver results in 2010-11, as evidenced by the positive performance of its non-financial indicators for Strategic Outcome 2 presented above.

Strategic Outcome 3: Natural resource knowledge, landmass knowledge and management system strengthen the safety and security of Canadians and the stewardship of Canada’s natural resources and lands.
Performance Indicators Target Status Results
A. Contribution to the safety and security of Canadians, and the effectiveness of federal land stewardship and regulatory processes. Greater than 90% of landmass and natural hazard data meets timeliness and accessibility standards Exceeded

Quality (timeliness and accessibility) of Geoscience Data for Emergency Management, Planning and Response
From 2006-07 to 2010-11, NRCan consistently exceeded its 90% target for timeliness and accessibility of landmass and natural hazard system data, as indicators of the quality of its data and knowledge sharing.

The provision of this information helps other levels of government, including international government bodies, the private sector and professional organizations to prepare for and mitigate natural disasters and make decisions for the effective management of Canada’s natural resources and lands.

B. Contribution to the safety and security of Canadians, and the effectiveness of federal land stewardship and regulatory processes. Favourable long-term trend in number of publications Met All

Knowledge Advancements in Safety, Security and Geoscience - Scientific and Technical Papers
Over the most recent four-year period for which comparable data are available (2006-2009), NRCan's production of peer-reviewed scientific and technical papers in these areas has increased by 36%, from 175 to 238 publications.

NRCan’s scientific activities and the dissemination of knowledge on climate change, forest disturbances, geoscience and adaptation, public safety geoscience, as well as explosives inform decision-making by industry and various levels of government. Risks can be better assessed and mitigation strategies put in place to ensure the safety and security of Canadians (e.g. mitigation and adaptation strategies related to forest pests, forest fires, climate change, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.). The information is also used to inform decision-making on the stewardship of Canada’s lands, for example Canada’s North.

Program Activity 2009-10
($ millions)
2010-11 ($ millions) Alignment to Government of Canada Outcomes
3.1 Adapting to a Changing Climate and Hazard Risk Management 62.9 68.6 68.6 67.6 60.8 An Innovative and Knowledge-based Economy
3.2 Natural Resource and Landmass Knowledge for Canadians 113.5 103.7 103.6 98.9 95.5 An Innovative and Knowledge-based Economy
3.3 Geomatics Canada Revolving Fund 0.5 1.9
7.3 (0.3) An Innovative and Knowledge-based Economy
Total 176.9 172.3 172.2 173.8 156.0  

Internal Services

Program Activity 2009-10
($ millions)
2010-11 ($ millions)
4.1 Internal Services 306.9 223.0 223.3 310.4 308.4

The variance between the planned and actual spending can be explained by transfers from departmental programs to internal services as part of the corporate costing model, as well as increased costs associated with the Employee Benefit Plan. 

Expenditure Profile

The graph below compares the Department’s three-year spending trend for estimates, planned spending, total authorities and actual spending, as well as for Canada’s Economic Action Plan Initiatives.

Departmental Spending Trends

Departmental Spending Trends Graph

Text Version - Departmental Spending Trends

NRCan’s total actual spending for 2010-11 was $4.357 billion.

  • This included $2.103 billion for the statutory programs for the Atlantic Offshore Accords. NRCan receives royalties for offshore oil and gas production and subsequently pays an equal amount to the provinces of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

NRCan’s spending increased from previous years – a $1,068.8 million and $526.4 million increase from 2008-09 and 2009-10 levels respectively. This is attributable to:

  • Increased funding to deliver on Canada’s Economic Action Plan (with programs such as ecoENERGY Retrofit Homes and the Clean Energy Fund – see p. 36 for more information on NRCan’s Economic Action Plan programs).

  • Increased funding for other key NRCan programs such as the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program.

Estimates by Vote

For information on our organizational votes and/or statutory expenditures, please see the 2010–11 Public Accounts of Canada 48 (Volume II) publication.

Voted and Statutory Items ($ millions)

Voted or Statutory Items Truncated Vote or Statutory Wording Actual Spending
Main Estimates
Actual Spending
Vote 1 Operating Expenditures 719.2 869.7 805.9 819.6
Vote 2 Capital Expenditures   8.9 15.1 21.2
Vote 5 Grants and Contributions 382.0 780.5 1 877.6 1346.5
Statutory Minister of Natural Resources – Salary and Motor Car Allowance 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Statutory Contributions to Employee Benefit Plans 58.3 67.1 57.6 66.1
Statutory Canada-Nova Scotia Development Fund -- -- 0.0 0.0
Statutory Infrastructure costs relating to the exploration, development, production or transportation of oil and gas in the offshore area of Nova Scotia 0.6 1.3 0.0 0.0
Statutory Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board 4.1 4.9 6.5 6.3
Statutory Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board 2.8 2.2 3.4 2.2
Statutory Payments to the Nova Scotia Offshore Revenue Account 577.4 109.4 295.3 225.2
Statutory Payments to the Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Resource Revenue Fund 2,351.0 1,180.9 1,371.2 1227.7
Statutory Grant to the Canada Foundation for Sustainable Development 19.0 0.0 20.0 0.0
Statutory Newfoundland and Labrador Fiscal Equalization Offset Payments 556.7 465.3 0.0 641.9
Statutory Grants in Support of Energy Costs Assistance Measures 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Statutory Spending of proceeds from the disposal of Crown Assets 0.4 0.5 0.0 0.5
Statutory Refund of amounts credited to revenues in previous years 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Statutory Grant to the University of Calgary, Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment, and Economy 5.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Statutory Geomatics Canada Revolving Fund
- Operational expenditures
- Respendable revenue
0.9 0.5 0.0 (0.3)
Total Spending 4,677.5 3,491.3 4,452.7 4,357.0