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Minister's Message

The Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources

It is my pleasure to present the 2011–2012 Report on Plans and Priorities for Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).

Canada is emerging from the economic downturn in a solid position. Its recovery is taking hold, due in large part to Canada’s Economic Action Plan, which provided targeted and timely stimulus with a clear focus on maintaining and creating jobs for Canadians. At the same time, these investments are working to position Canada for long-term success in an ever-more globalized economy.

Natural resource sectors are a key driver in advancing Canada’s transition from recession to growth. Natural Resources Canada is helping the Government continue to create jobs and strengthen industries by working to ensure the competitiveness and environmental responsibility of these critical sectors. It is achieving this priority through science, programming and smart investments that are helping resource industries innovate and develop the technologies, practices and products necessary to successfully compete in the global marketplace. We are seeing real successes – cleaner energy, greener and more socially responsible mining, and new, more sustainable forestry products and practices.

Securing Canada’s future also demands that this country remain one of the best places in the world to invest. NRCan’s Major Projects Management Office has already improved our investment climate, while maintaining the high environmental standards expected by Canadians. It is continuing to drive system-wide improvements to the regulatory system to further advance the competitiveness and sustainability of Canada’s natural resource sectors.

Canada’s North is another priority for this Government and a priority of NRCan. The Department is contributing to Canadian sovereignty, economic opportunity and social development in the North by generating knowledge and supporting sustainable resource development.

Finally, NRCan will continue to work over the coming year to help the Government advance Canada’s status as a clean energy leader. Through the Clean Energy Fund, energy efficiency regulations and standards, and energy science and technology, the Department is playing a key role in helping Canada produce and consume energy in cleaner and more sustainable ways.

NRCan is helping the Government lay the foundation for long-term, sustainable growth, ensuring a more prosperous future for all Canadians.

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

Section I - Departmental Overview

Raison d'être and Responsibilities

NRCan’s vision is to improve the quality of life of Canadians by creating a sustainable resource advantage. It seeks to achieve this outcome by: working to improve the competitiveness of the natural resource sectors and ensuring the continuation of their significant contribution to Canada’s economy; enabling the sustainable development of Canada’s resources in a manner that advances the country’s global standing as a leader on the environment; and using its knowledge and expertise of Canada’s landmass to 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 Parliament i. The Minister's core powers, duties and functions are set forth in the Department of Natural Resources Act, the Resources and Technical Surveys Act and the Forestry Act. 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 portfolio ii, 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. And it uses partnerships and international collaboration to help drive progress on natural resources issues important to Canadians.

Planning Context

Natural resources are a key economic driver for Canada

Natural resources play a fundamental role in Canada’s economy. These sectors have been an engine of growth and job creation for generations of Canadians. In 2009, they contributed $133 billion, or about 11%, to Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) and directly employed 755,000 people. Globally, Canada is a leading exporter of natural resources and associated technology and knowledge. In 2008, the country was the world’s largest exporter of uranium, potash and newsprint, the second largest exporter of nickel and softwood lumber, and the third largest exporter of natural gas. Canada also has the second largest oil reserves in the world and is the largest oil supplier to the US. Together, natural resources accounted for almost half of Canadian goods exports in 2009.

As well, the natural resources sectors also contribute significantly to business sector investment in Canada. They made capital investment of approximately $74 billion in 2009, accounting for 24 percent of the national total. Their investments are expected to increase to $81 billion in 2010, representing 25 percent of total business investments.

The federal government’s Economic Action Plan has helped mitigate the economic downturn
Canada has recovered from the global economic downturn in a comparably better position than other G8 countries. Canadians are now seeing improved economic growth and new opportunities for the future. This success has much to do with the resilience of Canada’s workforce, our strong fiscal fundamentals, vast natural resources and world-class technologies and services, which continue to underpin the competitiveness of our economy.

Canada’s strong position has been supported by the federal government’s Economic Action Plan (EAP), which invested $62 billion to create jobs and generate economic growth. Going forward, the federal government will continue to focus efforts on jobs and the economy, while returning Canada’s books to a balanced position. A critical part of this long-term strategy is the sustainable development of Canada’s natural resource sectors.

Looking ahead, natural resources will continue to play a critical role in Canada’s economy.  As in the past, NRCan will assist the natural resources sectors in seizing opportunities
The world economy is experiencing modest, albeit uneven, growth in the aftermath of the recession, led largely by China and other emerging economies. Many commodity prices have rebounded with the demand for vital resources expected to remain robust in 2011. The resurgence of global demand for oil is providing stimulus for rising crude prices, whereas natural gas prices are expected to remain relatively low due to robust supply. In addition, the price of most minerals and metals (e.g., gold, copper, uranium, metallurgical coal and iron ore) could move higher due to strong global demand and growing infrastructure investments, particularly in emerging economies.

There are other important forces at play that will affect the competitiveness of Canada’s natural resource sectors. For instance, global demand is growing for new clean energy technologies and solutions – a trend that is increasingly viewed as part of the world’s transition towards a lower carbon future. In response, major economies, including the US, China, Japan, the European Union (EU) as well as Canada, are making significant investments in clean energy as a way of creating economic opportunity while also tackling climate change.

Another related shift is a growing preference among consumers, shareholders and investors for products and companies that demonstrate greater environmental leadership and social responsibility. Canadian natural resource industries are reacting in positive ways to these new competitiveness pressures. For example, twenty-one forest companies have signed an agreement to protect Canada’s boreal forest – working with environmental non-governmental organization for a more sustainable approach to forestry. The Mining Association of Canada has implemented a mandatory performance assessment process on sustainable mining for its members – showing its commitment to greater corporate social responsibility.

As well, Canada’s natural resource sectors are adding value to their operations through innovation, the creation of new technologies and knowledge, and partnerships with related industries as part of their extended supply and value chains. They are diversifying their business relations in order to increase revenues and expand market presence abroad – and in the process, they are creating high-quality jobs at home.

NRCan is a key partner for the natural resources sectors. The department is helping the forest sector transform itself through targeted investments in innovation. For example, NRCan is supporting the research and development needed to maintain Canada’s leadership by advancing the commercial potential of technologies that can create new products and options for Canada’s forest communities (e.g., conversing forest biomass into bioenergy).

The Canadian mining sector is reliant on new technologies and innovation to improve exploration results, be more productive and meet or exceed environmental performance standards. NRCan is contributing to the overall competitiveness of the industry through the development of new green technologies and processes that will enhance energy efficiency, reduce environmental footprint and lower operating costs. The department is also continuing to provide geoscience data, information and knowledge critical to encouraging private sector exploration and investment across the country, including in Canada’s north.

Canada is a global energy leader and its energy sector is a key engine of growth for the whole of the economy. With government as partner, the energy sector is increasing its use of innovative clean energy technologies and bringing on-line new renewable sources of energy. NRCan’s suite of energy programs will continue to support the competitiveness of the industry and priorities of the government by encouraging the uptake of clean and efficient energy products and services, creating and disseminating new knowledge, developing markets for new clean technologies and supporting industry-specific innovations. NRCan will maintain support of Canada’s energy science and technology leadership and pursue international collaboration to drive clean energy research and development.

Establishing Priorities

NRCan is responding to the Government’s priorities by focusing efforts in five key areas:

  1. Improving the performance of the regulatory system for major project reviews which will help ensure that Canada is the best country in which to invest;
  2. Enabling competitive resource sectors, with a focus on innovation and sustainable transformation in the forest sector, and green mining to enhance market opportunities and create the jobs and economy of tomorrow;
  3. Advancing clean energy in Canada through science & technology advancements, innovation, and program investments;
  4. Managing nuclear issues to contribute to Canada's energy and environmental needs, while reducing costs and risks to taxpayers; and
  5. Advancing sustainable resource development in the North to help Canada realize the vast potential of the region's people and resources.

Risk Analysis

As a large and diverse organization, NRCan prepares for and manages a wide range of risks.  The department identifies and responds to these risks via an Integrated Risk Management (IRM) Framework, which it has updated for 2011-12.

The Framework includes a series of special purpose operational risk management instruments such as financial controls, business continuity planning, and programs for managing large or high-profile risks to Canada in the domains of explosives, natural hazards, and legacy nuclear waste. It also includes strategic risk management instruments such as medium term policy planning.

For fiscal year 2011-12, the department will be actively managing a range of key risks. Beyond those affecting the natural resources sectors that the department will manage through its programming, it will also address risks to its operations. Some of these risks are outlined below:

  • As a science-based organization, NRCan is committed to the recruitment and development of a highly-skilled and knowledgeable workforce. Changing demographics and rapidly advancing technologies highlight the risk that NRCan may be unable to attract and retain the highly-qualified personnel it needs to deliver on its mandate. In response, NRCan has put in place a number of workforce and workplace initiatives, including a suite of workforce renewal strategies, HR service innovations and tools, and career development support and programs.

  • NRCan is responsible for providing seismic and space weather monitoring and alerting services to first responders and the general public. Given the potential for severe events to disable critical communication infrastructure - as well as an increase in the use and expectation of information availability due to the proliferation of social networks and mobile web access technologies - there are risks that emergency responders, critical infrastructure operators, media and the public might not be able to access the information they need to respond appropriately in the event of an emergency. Current mitigation strategies associated with this risk include the enabling of greater surge capacity, the creation of redundancy in operations, the exploitation of multiple communication channels, and the implementation of an Activate Crisis Communications Protocol.

  • NRCan has taken a series of steps to ensure the smooth implementation of a new financial management system on April 1st, 2011. Risk mitigation measures have been put in place and include the choice of an already established system through a partnership with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the implementation of robust project management governance, and an extensive training program to ensure a smooth transition.

Contribution to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS)

NRCan is a participant in the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS). The FSDS represents a major step forward for the Government of Canada by including environmental sustainability and strategic environmental assessment as an integral part of its decision-making processes.  NRCan’s contributions to the FSDS are further explained in Sections II, III and IV.

Sustainable development is central to the mandate of NRCan and essential to the future of the natural resources sector. NRCan is committed to delivering on its vision of improving the quality of life of Canadians by creating a sustainable resource advantage. For additional details on NRCan’s activities to support sustainable development and on Greening Government Operations please see and For complete details on the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, please see

Strategic Outcome(s) and Program Activity Architecture (PAA)

Strategic Outcomes and Program Activity Architecture


Tag Legend for FSDS Themes:

Graphic representing Theme I: Addressing Climate Change and Air QualityTheme I: Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality

Graphic representing Theme II: Maintaining Water Quality and AvailabilityTheme II: Maintaining Water Quality and Availability

Graphic representing Theme III:  Protecting NatureTheme III:  Protecting Nature

Graphic representing Theme IV: Shrinking the Environmental Footprint – Beginning with GovernmentTheme IV: Shrinking the Environmental Footprint – Beginning with Government

Planning Summary

Financial Resources ($ thousands)
2011–12 2012–13 2013–14
3,524,047 2,901,902 2,402,432


Human Resources (FTEs)
2011–12 2012–13 2013–14
4,389 4,182 4,155


Strategic Outcome 1: Economic Competitiveness
Natural resource sectors are internationally competitive, economically productive and contribute to the social well-being of Canadians
Performance Indicators Targets
Canada's share of resource-based world trade (as measured by the Trade Performance Index) Favourable 5-year trend in rank position
Program Activity Forecast Spending
Planned Spending Alignment to Government
of Canada Outcomes
2011–12 2012–13 2013–14
1.1 Economic Opportunities for Natural Resources 1,924,547 1,799,349 1,638,574 1,375,701 Strong Economic Growth
1.2 Natural Resource-based Communities 11,795 0 0 0 Strong Economic Growth
Total Planned Spending 1,799,349 1,638,574 1,375,701  


Strategic Outcome 2: Environmental Responsibility
Canada is a world leader on environmental responsibility in the development and use of natural resources
Performance Indicators Targets

i) Canada's total annual energy savings due to efficiency.

(ii) 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.

(i) Favourable 5-year trend in Petajoules (PJ) saved

(ii) Favourable long-term trend in number of publications

Program Activity Forecast Spending
Planned Spending Alignment to Government
of Canada Outcomes
2011–12 2012–13 2013–14

2.1 Clean Energy

1,926,436 1,327,303 890,405 661,975 A Clean and Healthy Environment
2.2 Ecosystem Risk Management 194,702 86,975 99,367 92,243 A Clean and Healthy Environment
Total Planned Spending 1,414,277 989,772 754,219  


Strategic Outcome 3: Safety, Security and Stewardship
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 Targets
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

Greater than 90% of landmass and natural hazard data meets timeliness and accessibility standards
Program Activity Forecast Spending
Planned Spending Alignment to Government
of Canada Outcomes
2011–12 2012–13 2013–14
3.1 Adapting to a Changing Climate and Hazard Risk Management 68,617 63,558 51,519 52,231 An Innovative and Knowledge-based Economy
3.2 Natural Resource and Landmass Knowledge for Canadians 103,655 84,371 67,890 67,272 An Innovative and Knowledge-based Economy
3.3 Geomatics Canada Revolving Fund 1,968
An Innovative and Knowledge-based Economy
Total Planned Spending 147,929 119,409 119,503  


Internal Services
Program Activity Forecast Spending
Planned Spending
2011–12 2012–13 2013–14
4.1 Internal Services
222,972 162,493 154,147 153,008
Total Planned Spending 4,452,723 3,524,047 2,901,902 2,402,432


Contribution of Priorities to Strategic Outcomes

Operational Priorities1

Improving the Performance of the Regulatory System for Major Project Reviews
SO # 1, 2 & 3
Previously Committed Priority

Why is this a priority?

Addressing the challenges facing the federal regulatory system for project reviews is key to creating the conditions for an innovative and prosperous economy, protecting the health and safety of Canadians, and protecting the environment.

What are the plans for meeting this priority?

Through the Major Projects Management Office (MPMO), NRCan will provide overarching management of the federal regulatory review process for over 60 proposed major resource projects representing approximately $100 billion of potential new investment in Canada. The MPMO will work collaboratively with federal regulatory departments and agencies to expand existing tools, processes and procedures to enhance the timeliness, predictability, transparency and accountability of project reviews. The MPMO will also provide leadership across the Government of Canada to advance further policy, regulatory and legislative improvements to the federal regulatory system, including measures to improve integration of federal and provincial review processes.

Commitments for 2011-12

Ongoing development and implementation of a suite of legislative, regulatory and policy changes to deliver predictable and timely project reviews, reduce regulatory burden, improve environmental protection and provide for more meaningful aboriginal consultations in support of the Government's economic agenda.

Develop Project Agreements that include target timelines, service standards and workplans for all MPMO projects undergoing a federal regulatory review to ensure timely, integrated and well coordinated environmental assessment, regulatory decision-making and Aboriginal consultation.

Maintain robust tracking, monitoring, reporting and issue resolution mechanisms on MPMO projects to ensure adherence to target timelines and service standards in Project Agreements, as measured by the percentage (more than 80%) of active or completed MPMO projects that are on time or within 8 weeks of the project-specific service standards and target timelines.

Work collaboratively with partners to strengthen northern regulatory regimes and to improve integration of federal and provincial review processes.

Undertake an evaluation of the MPMO Initiative that provides recommendations/proposals to improve program design.

Enabling Competitive Resource Sectors
SO # 1, 2 & 3
Previously Committed Priority

Why is this a priority?

Canada’s natural resource sectors are facing long-term challenges. Supporting innovation and sustainable change is key to improving the long-term competitiveness and sustainability of these sectors.

What are the plans for meeting this priority?

NRCan will work on forest product innovation to help support the forest sector’s transition away from its historical focus on volume-based commodities (e.g., lumber and pulp) towards increased emphasis on a more diversified, higher-value product mix. NRCan also plays an important role in supporting provincial and territorial governments, industry and other forest sector stakeholders in promoting Canada’s leadership in sustainable forest management in international markets.

NRCan also supports the mineral and mining sectors by providing scientific data on mineral systems that form Canada’s major deposit types. The Targeted Geoscience Initiative 4 will provide information and technologies that will contribute to new discoveries of mineral resources that will sustain the economic viability of many communities. The development and implementation of a Base-Metal Strategy will also serve to promote the identification and development of new base-metal resources in existing mining camps and remote areas, including the North.

The pan-Canadian Green Mining Initiative, a multi-stakeholder initiative, will further reduce the environmental impacts of mining through the promotion and development of environmentally-friendly technologies and processes, and create opportunities for technology transfer abroad. Support for the sector will also be provided through the implementation of a corporate social responsibility strategy.

Commitments for 2011-12

Through the Leadership for Environmental Advantage in Forestry Initiative, provide 10 science-based information products (e.g., reports) to forest sector stakeholders (e.g., Canadian wood product producers and related industry associations) that address key environmental reputation and market acceptance issues for use both domestically and internationally.

As part of TGI-4, sign eight collaborative arrangements with provincial, territorial, academia and industrial partners.

Deliver tools such as exploration modeling in order to optimize effectiveness in exploring for certain types of mineral deposits.

Complete reports on an Overview of Trends in Canadian Mineral Exploration and comparative international tax study for base metals..

Advance Green Mining Initiative projects and knowledge transfer, specifically:

  • 15 R&D publications on environnemental technologies;
  • 10 projects completed with industry and government stakeholders;
  • 10 Ground Control, safe mining or innovative projects.

The scope of these projects includes: (1) reducing risks related to mining at a great depth to access mineral deposits and improving the productivity of Canadian mining operations; (2) developing innovative technologies on the effect of heat stress on mine workers; and, (3) developing and testing processes for long term storage of radioactive wastes in Canada.

Advancing Clean Energy
SO # 1, 2
Previously Committed Priority

Why is this a priority?

Energy is a significant segment of the economy and Canada’s leading resource export. Strong federal leadership is critical to ensuring that all of Canada’s energy resources continue to contribute to the country’s economy, while meeting domestic and global expectations that energy be produced and used in cleaner and more sustainable ways.

What are the plans for meeting this priority?

NRCan supports a clean energy transition by delivering programs that support energy efficiency, the development of renewables and clean electricity, and cleaner fossil fuels and alternatives.

Clean energy programs support the government’s objectives by encouraging the uptake of energy efficiency products and services, developing markets for new clean technologies (e.g. the ecoENERGY for Biofuels Initiative), and supporting industry-specific innovations (e.g. the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program).

NRCan will continue to support Canada’s science and innovation system and pursue international collaboration to drive clean energy research and development. In particular, the ecoENERGY Technology Initiative and the Clean Energy Fund support the research, development and demonstration of cutting-edge clean energy technologies, including carbon capture and storage.

The department also provides relevant data, information and knowledge focused on encouraging the development of unconventional and renewable resources such as shale gas, gas hydrates, solar, wind, geothermal and tidal energy supplies, which could become important components of Canada’s future energy mix.

Commitments for 2011-12

Establish and maintain partnerships with industry and provincial stakeholders through contracts and contribution agreements to cost-share clean-energy technology projects. These projects include:

  • A contribution agreement for the carbon capture and storage project with TransAlta Project Pioneer.
  • A series of sustainable community energy demonstration projects co-funded with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
  • A collaborative project with universities and companies to design, build and test a light weight structure for vehicles to promote energy fuel efficiency and test safety.
  • A project to retrofit biomass into large industrial iron-making process furnaces.
  • A project in collaboration with other government departments and international partners, to develop new materials for the next generation nuclear reactor systems (GEN IV) which will contribute to cleaner, high-temperature energy systems.

Monitor current and new projects related to clean energy science and technology, as well as geosciences, and ensure results are achieved, including:

  • Pilot-scale research to reduce the cost and increase the efficiency of CCS;
  • Publish a study on geological parameters impact assessment for carbon storage;
  • Publish an evaluation of geothermal energy potential, and
  • Develop a marine energy technology roadmap.

By the conclusion of the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program at the end of 2011-12, contribution agreements with 25 participating pulp and paper firms will have been established, for a total of $950 million in program credits. This will improve the environmental performance of the industry by reducing the quantity of energy consumed by 4,230,000 GJ/year and increasing the quantity of renewable energy produced by 2,100,000 MWH/year, which will lay the groundwork for a more competitive and sustainable future.

Managing Nuclear Issues
SO # 1, 2
Ongoing Priority

Why is this a priority?

Nuclear energy plays a critical role in Canada’s energy mix. The government’s nuclear policy is driven by three overarching objectives: (i) meeting Canada’s energy and environmental needs safely, economically and reliably; (ii) reducing costs and risks for taxpayers while maximizing returns on Canada’s investments in the nuclear industry; and (iii) positioning Canada’s nuclear industry to seize domestic and global opportunities. There is also a need to increase the security of medical isotopes supply to meet the health needs of Canadians and reduce environmental impacts.

What are the plans for meeting this priority?

NRCan will deliver on this priority in partnership with key entities within the Minister’s portfolio and other government departments. In particular, NRCan will continue to implement the announced restructuring of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) to reduce taxpayers' exposure to commercial risks and costs while positioning Canada's nuclear industry to take maximum advantage of domestic and international opportunities. Efforts will be geared towards reaching an agreement with a purchaser for the divestiture of AECL’s Commercial Reactor Division, as well as managing funding pressures in order to preserve the value of the asset and limit the risks for taxpayers. NRCan will also continue to look at the long-term mandate and possible options for AECL National Laboratories. The department will support AECL in its efforts to renew its infrastructure to meet health, safety, security and environmental requirements, and develop advanced CANDU reactor designs.

Together with Health Canada, NRCan will work to ensure that Canadians have a secure supply of medical isotopes by investing in research, development and demonstration of new technologies.

Finally, NRCan will continue to manage the government’s radioactive waste liabilities.

Commitments for 2011-12

Finalize the divestiture of AECL’s Commercial Reactor Division.

Implement expected Government decisions with respect to the restructuring of AECL’s National Laboratories.

Support research and development of non-reactor-based technologies for the production of medical isotopes through the funding for the Non-reactor-based Isotope Supply Contribution Program (NISP) and complete reports on the technical and commercial viability of the isotope technologies.

Meet the government-approved program milestones for the second phase of the Nuclear Legacy Liabilities Program, including the building and infrastructure decommissioning and radioactive waste cleanups at the AECL sites.

Facilitate future implementation of the Port Hope Area Initiative (a program to clean-up historic radioactive waste) by obtaining proper approvals and regulatory authorities.

Advancing Sustainable Resource Development in the North
SO # 1 & 3
Ongoing Priority

Why is this a priority?

Key objectives of the government are to realize the vast potential of Canada’s North, strengthen Canada’s sovereignty and promote northern economic and social development, which requires private sector investment. NRCan is supporting the industry in making informed and effective investment decisions by providing improved landmass, offshore and resource information.

What are the plans for meeting this priority?

NRCan is working with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada to develop a Northern Strategy for resource development, particularly for minerals and metals. This work will include areas such as the Mineral and Energy Resource Assessment process, climate change and adaptation and improving regulatory process North of 60 through the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency. The Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals Program will continue to fill the knowledge gaps and provide the fundamental geoscience information to governments, communities and the private sector so that they can use it to make strategic decisions related to new energy and mineral resources in the North.

The department is supporting Canada’s submission to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to extend the country’s sovereign rights on the Atlantic and Arctic continental margins by mapping the continental shelf. NRCan is also providing logistical support for Arctic geoscience and research, and completing the topographic mapping of the North.

Commitments for 2011-12

Develop Northern Strategy related to minerals and metals development.

Conduct high resolution geophysical surveys to fill knowledge gaps and provide governments, communities and industry with fundamental geoscience required to make strategic investment decisions in new energy and mineral resources in the North.

Complete annual land claim survey obligations as defined in the legislation and agreements for the Yukon, North West Territories (NWT) and Nunavut.

Provide the final set of coordinates for the outer limits of Canada’s Atlantic and Arctic offshore continental shelf (UNCLOS).

Compile 500 new topographic maps at 1:50 000 scale covering parts of NWT and Nunavut.

Support the implementation of the Action Plan to Improve the North’s Regulatory Regimes, and the effective establishment of the Northern Projects Management Office, to ensure a consistent approach to project reviews across the country.

Management Priority

Integrated Management
SO # 1, 2 & 3
Ongoing Priority

Why is this a priority?

NRCan’s success is dependent on the relevance of its programs and the way they are managed to ensure effectiveness and efficiency. Support provided by internal services serves to build and sustain capacity, align resources and integrate management practices to continuously renew how we do things (e.g., our business processes) and ensure the effective and efficient use of resources and their alignment with priorities.

What are the plans for meeting this priority?

Continue to improve NRCan’s integrated business planning process, including strengthening performance and risk management and improving the governance structure, to ensure the relevance of our programming and allow for greater integration and management of our outcomes and performance. The renovation of the Program Activity Architecture will allow for better attribution of results and more effective reporting on performance – ensuring transparency to Parliament and Canadians. The implementation of a comprehensive risk management framework will support strengthened risk management across the department. The improvements to the governance structure will support stronger integration, support the development of concrete measures to transform business processes and contribute to building a culture of collaboration and collective leadership. The implementation of Felix/SAP should facilitate the integration of these initiatives and enhance key business processes.

The department is also focused renewing and growing our human capital by recruiting more strategically and supporting development to maximize the contribution and growth of our people. For example, the alignment of recruitment initiatives to identified needs and priorities will support the achievement of our outcomes and will address identified skills shortages. To that effect, a particular focus will be placed on strengthening our capacity in science and technology to ensure our ability to deliver in the longer term. Building on an effective executive performance and talent management process, further emphasis will be placed on the management of our talent through the establishment of a comprehensive leadership development framework. The Key NRCan Competencies of organizational awareness, collaboration, innovation and flexibility will increasingly be ingrained into our talent management culture and integrated into our recruitment, learning, leadership development, performance management and recognition strategies.

Commitments for 2011-12

Implement a revised governance structure to ensure the integration and ongoing renewal of risks, human, asset, and information resources through the planning, ongoing monitoring and reporting of activities.

Support implementation of the renewed Program Activity Architecture, the Performance Measurement Framework, and Risk Management Framework.

Implement Felix/SAP to support improved business processes for financial, materiel and project management. Leverage the new system to better track financial and non-financial performance through quarterly reviews.

Focus HR strategies on business needs, including the implementation of a departmental approach to performance management and the design and implemention of targeted initiatives to recruit and develop S&T professionals.

Implement an organizational code (Values & Ethics) based on the principles of the new federal Public Service Code of Conduct.

Implement 2011-2016 Action Plans for Official Languages and Employment Equity.

Implement a re-engineered Access to Information process to ensure timely and continuous review of active requests and, if necessary, resolve delays to ensure commitments to meet processing times.


Expenditure Profile

Voted and Statutory Items ($ millions)
Voted or Statutory Items Truncated Vote or Statutory Wording Main Estimates
Main Estimates
1 Operating expenditures 805.9 569.9
5 Capital 15.1 13.9
10 Grants and Contributions 1877.6 1267.5
(S) Minister of Natural Resources – Salary and Motor Car Allowance 0.1 0.1
(S) Contributions to Employee Benefit Plans 57.6 58.7
(S) Canada-Nova Scotia Development Fund 0.0 0.0
(S) Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board 6.5 6.8
(S) Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board 3.4 3.4
(S) Payments to the Nova Scotia Offshore Revenue Account 295.3 179.7
(S) Payments to the Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Resource Revenue Fund 1371.2 1424.0
(S) Grant to the Canada Foundation for Sustainable Development Technology 20.0 0.0
(S) Geomatics Canada Revolving Fund
- Operational expenditures
- Respendable revenue
Main Estimates 4452.7 3524.0

The graph below illustrates the departmental spending trend for the period 2007-08 to 2013-14. Key points to note include:


  • Program spending increased from 2007-08 to 2010-11, and is decreasing for subsequent years. This is due to the completion of many of Canada’s Economic Action Plan initiatives and the sunsetting of Clean Air Agenda programs.

  • Planned spending increases for 2010-11 are attributed primarily to the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program, which was allocated $800 million in 2010-11 (up from $200 million in 2009-10). Other increases are related to the CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory Relocation Program, the Clean Energy Agenda, the Forestry Market Diversification and Innovation programs, the Clean Energy Fund, the ecoENERGY for Biofuels Program, the Modernizing Federal Laboratories Program, the grant to Sustainable Development Technology of Canada (SDTC), the Nuclear Legacy Liabilities Program and Collective Bargaining.

  • Planned spending decreases for 2011-12  are attributed to sunsetting or reduced funding for the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program, the Nuclear Waste Legacy Liabilities program, Investing in Canada’s Forest Sector Initiative, Clean Energy Agenda, the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation program, the Modernizing Federal Laboratories Initiative, the ecoENERGY Technology Initiative, grants to Sustainable Development Technology Canada, the ecoTransport Strategy, the Clean Energy Fund, and Strategic Review. These decreases are partially offset by increases to the ecoENERGY for Renewable Power, Investments in Forest Industry Transformation Program, Isotopes Supply Initiative, and the Port Hope Area Initiative.

  • Planned spending decreases for 2012-13 are attributed to sunsetting or reduced funding for the ecoENERGY Technology Initiative, the CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory Relocation program, the Adaptation Theme for the Clean Air Agenda, the ecoENERGY for Biofuels Program, the Isotopes Supply Initiative, and the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program.

  • Planned spending decreases for 2013-14 are attributed to sunsetting or reduced funding for the Clean Energy Fund, Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals Program and the ecoENERGY for Biofuels Program.

Statutory Programs:

  • Statutory payments under various Atlantic Offshore Accords are based primarily on oil and gas royalty revenues received which are affected by both the price of oil and production levels. The increase in actual expenditures is largely a result of the significant increase in oil prices experienced in the 2007-08 and 2008-09 fiscal years. The anticipated spending decrease and subsequent reduction in planned spending for 2009-10 and subsequent years reflects the latest forecast of oil price and production levels: the federal government expects to collect offshore-related revenues at a level similar to that prevailing in the years prior to 2007-08.

Expenditure Profile - Spending Trend Graph



Estimates by Vote

Estimates by Vote are presented in the 2011–12 Main Estimates which are available here: