By the numbers

What oil and natural gas mean to Canada’s economy

Even in times of economic challenge, Canada’s oil and natural gas industry remains a pillar of the country’s economy.

Want to know what oil and natural gas mean to Canada’s economy? In 2015, Canada’s upstream oil and natural gas sector delivered:

 •$55 billion in investment: More than any other sector in the Canadian economy including manufacturing, transportation, agriculture and forestry.
 •$1.7 billion in property taxes. That’s about the same as the City of Vancouver’s entire 2017 budget. These taxes pay for roads, parks, sports arenas and community centres in communities small and large across the country.
 •$728 million in federal taxes.
 •$563 million in provincial corporate income taxes. Federal and provincial tax revenues pay for health care, education and social programs that improve the quality of life of all Canadians.
 •$6.3 billion in federal personal income tax from direct and indirect employment from activity in Alberta alone.
 •500,000 jobs — that’s the same as employing the entire population of the city of Hamilton.
 •Support for more than 20,000 businesses in Alberta, including 327 Aboriginal companies, representing about $4 billion in activity in 2015/
 •Support for more than 3,400 oil sands suppliers across Canada, including more than 1,500 in Ontario. 

These numbers are based on actual revenues, capital spending and operations spending in 2015 (the most recent year for which complete data are available).

Although substantial, these numbers are down considerably from 2014, when investment was approximately $81 billion and generated 550,000 direct and indirect jobs. Looking forward, the Canadian Energy Research Institute estimates the economic impact of Canada’s conventional oil and natural gas industry from 2015 to 2035 to be $3.5 trillion. Employment — direct, indirect and induced — is expect to be 932,600 for the conventional oil and natural gas sector by 2035.