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October 16, 2017 | RESOURCES PRIMER: Five Proof Points Showing How Primary Industries Drive the Economy

Stewart Muir is founder and executive director of the Resource Works Society, a Vancouver-based group open to participation by British Columbians from all walks of life who are concerned about their future economic opportunities. He is an author, journalist and historian with experience on three continents including a financial editor of The Vancouver Sun responsible for mining and markets coverage. Since Resource Works was established in 2014, the group has gained international recognition for its practical approach to the public challenges of responsible natural resource development and use.

The world is just as dependent as ever on basic materials that need to be responsibly sourced from somewhere. This can be challenging to understand  for those who’ve heard the arguments that Canada is a post-resource economy. This material can help.

The first thing to know is that over time, resources have actually been a pretty steady component of the overall economy. The chart below shows British Columbia’s international merchandise exports for the two decades from 1996 to 2006.


Note that overall exports grew during this time, and so did resource exports. There has been a slight decrease of the resource share, by about 5 percentage points, as the broader economy diversifies. (The chart reflects goods exports only and does not include growth in the service economy where statistics show different diversification patterns.)

To understand the resiliency of the resource economy, check out the following slides drawn from a presentation by Ken Peacock, chief economist of the Business Council of BC, to the BC Assembly of First Nations in October 2017.








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October 16th, 2017

Posted In: Resource Works

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