Economic Strategy - Resources of the future

Positioning Canada’s resources for the future economic growth

Chair

Lorraine Mitchelmore

Lorraine Mitchelmore has 30 years of oil and gas experience with more than a third of her career working internationally. She worked at Petro Canada, Chevron, and BHP Petroleum before joining Shell in 2002. Since then she held various Senior Management positions prior to her appointment as President and Canada Country Chair in 2009 and EVP Heavy Oil Americas in 2012. After retiring from Shell in January 2016, Lorraine in 2017 became the President and CEO of Enlighten Innovations, a company that is developing a disruptive, environmentally benign, desulphurisation technology that significantly reduces sulphur from heavy oil. Lorraine serves on the BMO board of directors, Catalyst Advisory council, is co-founder and co-chair of Smart Prosperity and has actively advised governments on energy and environmental policies.

Members

  • Michelle Ash, Barrick Gold Corporation
  • Eric Axford, Suncor Energy Inc.
  • Brent Bergeron, Goldcorp Inc.
  • Pat Carlson, Kiwetinohk Resources Corp
  • Avik Dey, CPP Investment Board
  • Kevin Edgson, EACOM Timber Corporation
  • Stewart Elgie, Institut pour l’Intelli Prospérité
  • Judy Fairburn
  • Sandy Ferguson, Conifex Timber Inc.
  • Anne Giardini, Simon Fraser University
  • Jean Paul Gladu, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business
  • Karen Hutt, Nova Scotia Power Inc.
  • James D. “Jim” Irving, J.D. Irving Ltd.
  • Alice Wong, Cameco
  • Tom Syer, Teck Resources

Federal representatives

  • Paul Thompson, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
  • Christyne Tremblay, Natural Resources Canada

Meetings

February 6-7, 2018 Location: Calgary, Alberta

Focus

On February 6 and 7, 2018, the Clean Resources Economic Strategy Table held its first meetings in Calgary, Alberta. The discussion centered on the Table’s vision to create capital flow, grow markets, build public confidence and make Canada a highly attractive jurisdiction for investment in the natural resources sector. The Table identified five key themes to focus on, along with a detailed discussion on barriers and opportunities within those themes.

What we talked about

  • The meeting began with each of the Table members speaking to why they joined this initiative. There were several consistent themes , including the desire to position Canada’s natural resources as globally competitive and to have an integrated Canada-wide approach to ensuring capital flow while delivering environmental, economic and social outcomes. There was a desire to make the natural resources sector attractive to a more diverse workforce including youth, women and visible minorities. The Table unanimously expressed the aspiration to develop bold, yet practical recommendations and action plans that set out a clear road map for implementation.
  • Members heard from Innovation, Science & Economic Development on the work done by the Growth Council and why the Tables were created, and from Natural Resources Canada on overarching diagnostics of Canada’s natural resources sector. These presentations helped to clarify the Table’s mandate and set the stage to begin identifying priority themes.
  • Even though each of the natural resources sectors – forestry, mining, oil and gas, and power -are vastly different, their overarching challenges and opportunities are similar. As the common themes began to emerge, it was clear that the Table believes that sustainable innovation means ensuring economic, environmental and social outcomes. The desire to be partners with indigenous groups to building strong, sustainable communities was a consistent theme throughout the discussion.
  • The Table landed on five key themes – regulatory certainty, innovation for competitiveness, indigenous peoples and communities, access to markets and attracting and re-skilling talent. Opportunities and barriers were discussed for each of these themes. Members also agreed that there was need for urgency, agility and increased collaboration with each of the themes. Two champions will lead in developing each of the key themes and in identifying potential action items.

What we'll do next

  • Refine and elaborate vision for Canada’s natural resources in 2025 and beyond including measurable targets.
  • Theme champions will conduct deep-dives into challenges and opportunities within each of the key themes and start identifying best practices and developing recommendations.
  • The next meeting will take place in March, with a focus on advancing the discussion on the key themes towards tangible, actionable proposals.
Resources are our family business. We have all the ingredients, the talent and capacity. Now, how do we create an innovative ecosystem that will attract capital flow and allow Canada to win once again.
Resources of the future Member, February 7, 2018
March 14, 2018 Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

Focus

On March 14, 2018, the Resources of the Future Economic Strategy Table held its second meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia. The discussion centered on approving the Table’s vision and discussing in depth three out of its five key themes.

What we talked about

  • The meeting began with the Table approving a re-worded vision statement for the Table: “By 2025, Canada is a global competitive force in natural resources with a clear path to recognized economic, environmental and social leadership, making Canadians proud of the success we create for our talent today and in the future.”
  • The Table heard from champions of three out of the five priority themes– indigenous peoples and communities, access to markets, and attracting and re-skilling talent. The remaining two priority themes will be presented at the next Table meeting in April. The goal for this meeting was to get the Table’s approval on the direction the themes are taking and align on next steps. All three themes are moving into solutions brainstorming as next steps, though some signature initiatives are starting to take shape.
  • The Table feels quite strongly about the need for reconciliation with indigenous communities and government’s potential role in the process. Most of the signature initiatives emerging at the Table relate to enabling indigenous communities to become self-sustaining communities with basic infrastructure like housing, water and energy, proper K-12 education with a focus on trades, STEM, etc., programs that encourage procurement of indigenous businesses and making sure that indigenous people are at the table when creating these programs.
  • The Table is concerned that we do not have an understanding of future skills needs because we cannot anticipate the pace of change and rate of adoption of technology, and as such, cannot comprehend our future skills. The future skills issue is cross-cutting across all Tables; theme champions are looking forward to working with a broader group on this issue. The Table is also concerned that Canadian youth are not engaged enough in natural resources. An emerging signature theme from this Table is also looking at ways to engage K-12 students in natural resources.

What we'll do next

  • Start developing signature initiatives within the themes that were discussed at the meeting.
  • Table members will look into best practices in Canada and globally to support the proposals.
  • The next meeting will take place in April, with a focus on advancing the discussion on the remaining key themes towards tangible, actionable proposals.
It’s refreshing to be sitting around a table with people who get it, and that I’m not the only person bringing up Indigenous issues. There’s a strong undercurrent of Indigenous people who want to see natural resource projects succeed and there is a huge procurement opportunity for Indigenous businesses within these projects.
Resources of the future Member, March 14, 2018
April 5, 2018 Location: Toronto, Ontario

Focus

On April 5, 2018, the Resources of the Future Economic Strategy Table held a short three-hour meeting in Toronto, Ontario. The discussion was a continuation of the previous meeting in March, i.e. in depth discussion of the remaining two out of the five priority themes.

What we talked about

  • The Table heard from champions of the remaining two out of the five priority themes– regulatory certainty and innovation for competitiveness. The goal for this meeting was to get the Table’s approval on the direction the themes are taking and align on next steps. Both themes are moving into solutions brainstorming as next steps, though some signature initiatives are starting to take shape.
  • The Table feels quite strongly about the need to modernize Canada’s regulatory system to reflect current realities and the changing global environment. The Table believes that modernization involves fast-tracking regulatory approvals of projects that are of national strategic interest, creating outcomes-based, performance driven regulations that are technology-agnostic to allow flexibility of implementation and also to enable regulations to stay relevant as technologies change. This modernization must be done while maintaining transparency, and environmental, health and safety outcomes.
  • The Table is concerned that even though there has been a significant government spending on clean technology initiatives, Canada may be falling behind on innovation and technology adoption. Table members discussed different options based on global best practices that would allow the technology developers and adopters to function efficiently in a Canadian innovation ecosystem and leverage natural resources sectors as the hub for Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

What we'll do next

  • Start developing signature initiatives within the themes that were discussed at the meeting.
  • Table members will look into best practices in Canada and globally to support the proposals.
  • Table members will begin drafting proposals in advance of the next Table meeting in May, where these proposals will be discussed in detail.
All this only works if we have public trust and interest. Without public interest, none of this matters.
Resources of the future Member, April 5, 2018
May 23, 2018 Location: Calgary, Alberta

Focus

On May 23, 2018 the Resources of the Future Economic Strategy Table held its 4th meeting in Calgary, Alberta. This was the Table’s penultimate meeting focused on locking down proposals and discussing the Table’s growth targets.

What we talked about

  • Table members reiterated their desire to create proposals that are bold but achievable. The Table strongly believes that as Canada transitions to a low-carbon economy, natural resources sectors will act as laboratories of the future from where new clean and digital industries will be created.
  • The Table discussed ways to be as specific as possible with proposals and provide a clear line of sight from the recommendations to the Table’s growth targets. Proposals being developed are in the categories of regulatory certainty, innovation for competitiveness, Indigenous peoples and communities, access to markets and attracting and re-skilling talent.
  • The last meeting of the Resources of the Future Table will be held on June 14, 2018 in Calgary, Alberta. At this meeting, the Table will finalize proposals and growth targets and hand off their work to the Economic Strategy Tables bureau for final report writing.

What we'll do next

  • Table members will spend the next month finalizing proposals and drafting proposals documents
Are our proposals clear and specific so that George or Martha can relate to them? That’s the real test.
Resources of the future Member, May 23, 2018
June 14, 2018 Location: Calgary, Alberta

Focus

On June 14, 2018 the Resources of the Future Economic Strategy Table held its 5th meeting in Calgary, Alberta. This was the Table’s last face-to-face meeting focused on validating the Table’s proposals with key industry stakeholders, refining proposals and locking down the Table’s growth target.

What we talked about

  • Table members tested the proposals with key industry stakeholders to confirm that they are thr right priorities to address, bold, achievable and specific. All stakeholders in attendance agreed that the Table has prioritized the right areas and proposals. Everyone agreed that environment, safety and inclusion are important stakes as these proposals move on the implementation.
  • The Table continued to discuss ways to refine the proposals and be as specific as possible. Proposals being developed are in the categories of regulatory certainty, innovation for competitiveness, Indigenous peoples and communities, access to markets and attracting and re-skilling talent.

What we'll do next

  • Table members will spend the next month refining the language within the proposals and hand off their work to the Economic Strategy Tables bureau for final report writing.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to quickly and efficiently fix our regulatory system. Canada ranks 2nd globally, as the country with the least amount of corporate corruption, second only to Norway. We have the most sophisticated investment governance practices in the world and yet, investors are quickly, rapidly pulling away because they can’t be bothered to figure out the complex regulatory system in Canada.
Stakeholder from a Financial Institution
Resources of the future Member, June 14, 2018
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