Economy and Industry


Canada has one of the most advanced industrialized economies in the world. The Canadian economy is market-based and comprised of robust primary, manufacturing and service sectors. For example, energy, minerals and metals, and forestry are some of the most important natural resource sectors, while manufacturing includes large employers in areas such as the automotive and aerospace industries. Canada has always been a trading nation and commerce remains the engine of economic growth.

Natural Resources and the Economy

  • Canada’s natural resource economy is the third largest per-capita in the world and accounted for approximately 17% of Canada’s nominal gross domestic product and 1.9 million jobs in 2019.
  • There are 459 major projects under construction or planned in Canada for the period of 2020-2030, worth $589 billion.
  • Natural resource exports in 2019 were valued at approximately $264 billion, with the majority of exports going to the U.S.

Canada’s Transition to the Clean Economy

The Canadian economy has always been interwoven with our environment, from raw resource extraction to highly technical industries; many Canadians depend on lands and waters for their economic well-being. This connection means Canada’s economic health is reliant on the conservation of our environment, and building an economy that keeps emissions low and invests in clean technologies. The environmental and clean technology sector grew by 3.5% in 2019, twice the rate of the total Canadian economy. In addition, an estimated 341,000 jobs were associated with total environmental and clean technology activity in 2019, up 4.6% from a year earlier and accounting for 1.8% of all jobs in Canada.

Did You Know?

  • The Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change brings together provinces, territories and the federal government for collective action to address climate change and grow the economy through efforts that include pricing carbon pollution, building resilience, adapting to climate change, and supporting clean technologies, innovation and job creation.
  • Canada’s strengthened climate plan, A Healthy Environment and A Healthy Economy, builds on these efforts to cut more pollution, create more jobs, and support a healthier economy and environment.
  • The Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, which became law in June 2021, formalizes Canada’s target to achieve net-zero emissions by the year 2050, and establishes a transparent process to plan, assess and adjust efforts to achieve national emissions reductions.
  • The value of the environmental and clean technology products sector in Canada reached $70.5 billion in 2019, accounting for 3.0% of the Canadian gross domestic product.

Major Projects in Canada 

The interactive map below shows data related to Canada’s economy and industrial sectors that are available through the Open and Science Data Platform. The major projects inventory, produced by Natural Resources Canada, provides information on mining, energy and forestry projects currently under construction or planned to be initiated in the next 10 years. It includes new extraction and large expansion projects, and major processing facilities. The second dataset, depicts the location of clean electricity generating facilities, which includes information on power generation capacity and the type of clean energy source (biomass, hydro, nuclear, solar, tidal and wind). The data comes from the provinces and territories, federal departments and Canadian clean energy associations. Collectively, these datasets highlight the importance of both the natural resource and clean technology sectors in Canada’s economy.

This map is for illustrative purposes. The markers represent the approximate locations based on available data. The Government of Canada shall not be held liable for any third party’s interpretation of the Information. The Government of Canada reserves the right to change or revise the Information at any time.

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The Open Science and Data Platform provides access to information about Canada’s economy and industries, along with other topics, which can help us understand the interconnected nature of cumulative effects. Click the button below to explore economy and industry content.

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