Energy and the economy in Canada


As shown in Chapters 2 and 3, energy plays an important role in Canada’s economy because of the country’s high consumption levels and a substantial energy production sector. Acknowledging the major variations across the provinces’ energy profiles is essential to understanding how regional constituencies affect action and policies targeting energy consumption and production. The energy sector’s contribution to the economy, together with consumer preferences respecting energy expenses, produce a political economy of energy fraught with challenges inherent to low-carbon transformations.


  • Although oil and gas constitute the energy sector’s largest contribution to Canada’s GDP, they contribute far less in terms of employment owing to the high value of exports.
  • Export revenues are subject to variations, largely due to the sector’s vulnerability to changing market conditions in the United States.
  • Investment in the renewables sector has a greater impact on job creation despite making a smaller contribution to GDP.
  • Over the past decade, the increase in transport-related energy expenditures has led to higher-income households having a significantly higher carbon footprint than lower-income households, while these expenditures represent a heavier burden for the latter.