Message from Joe Oliver

Joe OliverDear Friends,

With Parliament now again in full swing, I am excited to update you on the actions that I have been taking for our constituency and our country.

First of all, the summer recess from Parliament allowed me to spend a lot of time in our community meeting with constituents, businesses, and local groups to discuss their thoughts and concerns.  I relish the opportunity to speak with people across the riding and hear directly from different community groups.  When I met with the Lawrence Heights Youth Leaders, I heard about concerns regarding immigration reform, an issue which our Government has taken large steps to address.  The policies we have put in place ensure that Canada is bringing in the top minds and most skilled workers, while also dealing with those people who seek to and have taken advantage of our generous spirit.

Furthermore, in discussions with constituents during events like the Marlee-Ville Festival, I heard concerns regarding our economy and the need for new jobs. While our Government has remained focused on the economy, and since July 2009 Canada has created 820,000 net new jobs, there are still too many Canadians looking for work.  Our Government is tackling this issue on numerous fronts.  We are opening new markets around the world to Canadian business, cutting red tape to allow for more efficiency, and taking large steps to improve our natural resources sector, one of the most important areas of our economy.

The natural resources sector directly employs 800,000 people, with another 800,000 indirectly employed by industries supporting the sector, like banking, legal services, accounting, and human resources. This is roughly 10% of all jobs across Canada. It is critical that our abundant natural resources continue to drive economic growth.  In order to allow for this, our Government introduced a plan for Responsible Resource Development, which will reduce duplication among different levels of government and among government departments, create binding timelines so that reviews no longer take many years, and ensure that our attention is focused on the largest projects. We are also increasing pipeline inspections and introducing new fines for companies that break environmental laws to make sure that resource development is done responsibly.

All of these steps will lead to a more efficient and economical natural resources sector, which will allow for increased growth in operations and a resulting uptake in job creation.  The ripple effects of our plan will be felt across the country where numerous industries will see an increase in business due to this growth.  I am proud and humbled to be the Minister who oversees one of our nation’s most critical industries.

This responsibility has not only given me the opportunity to travel across Canada, espousing the numerous benefits of our Responsible Resource Development plan, but has also sent me abroad to create new partnerships in the natural resources field.   These partnerships will bring about increased knowledge and technical abilities as well as new and friendly trading partners.

During the last several months, I visited Japan, South Korea and India, as well as going to the Philippines as recently as the beginning of November.  During all of these visits it was my goal to meet with government officials and local businesses in order to learn how our nations may benefit one another in the natural resources industry.  In Japan and South Korea I found the world’s two largest importers of Liquefied Natural Gas, a resource we hold in great abundance, thereby making them natural market places for Canada.  After speaking with government officials, key investors, and business leaders, I am confident that we will see an increase in trade between our countries which will lead to more job growth and opportunities as the Liquefied Natural Gas sector begins to expand.

In India I saw the world’s fourth largest consumer of energy, as well as a nation whose energy consumption is set to double by 2025.  With already strong trade and diplomatic relations, along with Canada’s abundance of energy resources, our relationship with India is poised to grow our economy, and expand the number of jobs we have available in energy and related sectors.  With India’s GDP projected to grow by at least 6% in the next 5 years, and their demand for energy soon to outweigh their current supply, Canada is in a unique position to provide energy to millions of people in India, bring in greatly increased revenue, and allow for faster job growth in industries across our country that service the natural resources sector.

While I enjoyed the opportunity to travel abroad, I always welcome the chance to host my colleagues from other countries here in Canada, and to show them the abundant natural resources we have and the opportunities they provide. 

Most recently I had the privilege of welcoming Dr. Uzi Landau, Israel’s Minister of Energy and Water Resources.  Having visited Israel and met with the Minister in June, it was good to have him come to Canada and see firsthand the possibilities for increased collaboration and growth between our two countries.  During his visit, Minister Landau and I announced the creation of the Canada-Israel Energy Science and Technology Fund which will see Canada and Israel pursue further cooperation to advance shared energy interests. This new scientific initiative will create jobs and strengthen the economies of both our countries through greater energy collaboration.

Everything that I have seen and done over the past several months has made me very excited for the current sitting of Parliament.  I am confident that our Government will continue to grow our economy, increase job creation, and create a stronger and more secure Canada for all our citizens.  Should you have any thoughts or concerns, please contact my office by visiting my website, www.joeoliver.ca.

I look forward to continuing to work for you and your interests in Ottawa.

Sincerely,

Hon. Joe Oliver – PC, MP


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