Resources are still our golden goose. We need to protect them – by Philip Cross, Jack M. Mintz (Financial Post – May 2, 2024)

They drive exports, productivity, incomes and government revenue. It’s time we stopped being embarrassed about them

Let us now praise Canada’s resource sector. It’s long past time somebody did. Natural resources generate 14.9 per cent of Canada’s GDP, with energy alone accounting for half that. They also account for over 45 per cent of our country’s manufacturing output. Nearly one in 10 Canadian jobs is related to resources, more than that for those of us living outside our major cities.

Natural resources have a heightened importance in investment and exports and the sector’s productivity is by far the highest of any industry’s. Canada’s comparative advantage in trade is heavily slanted to resources, which generate 58 per cent of all merchandise export earnings.

Natural resources are the only sector in which Canada has a trade surplus. By themselves, resource exports exceed Canada’s total merchandise imports. Nearly half of Canadian business investment is in natural resources — despite effective tax rates on new oil and gas investment that are twice as high as for other industries and delays in regulatory approval that typically add another fifth to the cost of investment.

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