Canada has considerable natural resources spread across its varied regions. As an example, in British Columbia the forestry industry is of great importance, while the oil and gas industry is important in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador. Mining is the principal industry of Northern Ontario, while fishing has long been central to the character of the Atlantic provinces, though it has recently been in steep decline. Canada has mineral resources of coal, copper, iron ore, and gold.

The Department of Natural Resources (French: Ministère des Ressources naturelles), operating under the FIP applied title Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), is the ministry of the government of Canada responsible for natural resources, energy, minerals and metals, forests, earth sciences, mapping and remote sensing. It was created in 1995 by amalgamating the now-defunct Departments of Energy, Mines and Resources and Forestry.

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) works to ensure the responsible development of Canada’s natural resources, including energy, forests, minerals and metals. NRCan also uses its expertise in earth sciences to build and maintain an up-to-date knowledge base of our landmass and resources.” To promote internal collaboration, NRCan has implemented a departmental wide wiki based on MediaWiki. Natural Resources Canada also collaborates with American and Mexican government scientists, along with the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, to produce the North American Environmental Atlas, which is used to depict and track environmental issues for a continental perspective.

The vast Athabasca Oil Sands give Canada the world’s third largest reserves of oil after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela according to USGS.

Under the Canadian constitution, responsibility for natural resources belongs to the provinces, not the federal government. However, the federal government has jurisdiction over off-shore resources, trade and commerce in natural resources, statistics, international relations, and boundaries. The current Minister of Natural Resources is Joe Oliver as of May 18, 2011.

The department of Natural Resources currently has these sectors:

  • Canadian Forest Service
  • Corporate Management and Services Sector
  • Earth Sciences Sector
  • Energy Sector
  • Innovation and Energy Technology Sector
  • Minerals and Metals Sector
  • Science and Policy Integration
  • Public Affairs and Portfolio Management Sector
  • Shared Services Office
  • Geographical Names Board of Canada
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For further information on Canadian Natural Resources please visit

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