Natural Resources Centre

We deliver insight into both the challenges and opportunities in the natural resources sector

2017 work plan (pdf)

2017 Projects

In Canada, particularly in the West, we are blessed with a variety of abundant natural resources. We have the food, energy and materials the world needs – and is willing to pay for. Canada’s past and present prosperity have been due in large part to our ability to sell what we have to the world.

We believe that our resources can, and should, continue to assure Canada’s future prosperity.

Our research is focused on how to best develop our valuable natural resources responsibly, and sell them to the world in a way that ensures the greatest prosperity for Canadians.

Getting one of our key natural resources – oil – to market continues to be a challenge. Some approvals have been given but getting projects built may be another matter. We have already completed, in partnership with University of Ottawa’s Positive Energy, original, practical research on the role of local communities in getting energy infrastructure built: A Matter of Trust: The role of communities in energy decision-making.

The following are specific projects we are undertaking:

Recommendations for energy infrastructure

Based on A Matter of Trust, we are putting together recommendations to help get energy projects (oil, gas, hydro and renewables) built with community support. We will ensure that our recommendations are heard as part of the National Energy Board Modernization Review, among other venues.

Local interest to national interest

Also building on A Matter of Trust, which focused on local communities, we will look at how best to balance local and national interests, in energy infrastructure.

Indigenous economic engagement

Based on the success of using a case study approach, we have commenced a major set of case studies across the West about improving Indigenous economic engagement on energy and other natural resources activities. The purpose will be to learn, in detail, what has worked and what hasn’t, with, most importantly, concrete recommendations. Aligning shared economic interests leads to immediate benefits for families and communities – benefits like improved skills, access to capital, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.

This project will be done with our Human Capital Centre, to better understand the opportunities for competency-based approaches to employment and entrepreneurship.


Building on our project Power Up: The hydro option, we will continue work on electricity, including co-operation across the West on which electricity sources (hydro, natural gas, wind and solar) make the most sense for which customers, in which places, for which uses. Further, we will look at how to get that electricity from where it is produced to where it is needed. The latter will build on our existing efforts to engage stakeholders across the western provinces (and in Ottawa) about co-operation and funding for transmission grid development. The western provinces exhibit regional comparative advantages and needs. Our research and convening work will focus on how greater co-operation and more integrated production and transmission of electricity can benefit each province.


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Planned research

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