Madam Chair, as I said in my remarks, our natural resources sector employs some 775,000 Canadians. In 2009 the sector contributed up to $70 billion to our trade balance and accounted for 11% of Canada's GDP.
Moreover, resource-related projects have generated considerable investment in the neighbourhood of $400 billion in potential capital investments expected over the coming decade.
Canada is a leader in energy production. For example, it is the world's largest uranium producer. Canada is also the world's seventh largest crude oil producer with the second largest proven reserves.
The forestry sector has gone through tough times recently, but there are signs of recovery. The prices of softwood lumber and pulpwood have gone up by 71% and 50%, respectively, since last year.
In 2010, we expect to see plants reopen or production ramp up to meet demand. The minerals and metals sector produced 3.3% of our GDP in 2008, and mineral production was estimated to be worth $43.5 billion.
While all of these figures point to the importance of natural resources sectors to today's economy, we must also look to the future. This is why I said in my remarks that we wanted the contribution of natural resources to our economy and quality of life to grow. The government will do that by working with the sector to make Canada a leader in clean energy and sustainable resource development around the world.