Case Study

How Ontario benefits from Canada's Oil & Gas

Ontarians, like all Canadians, rely on oil and gas for transportation, heating, and many other aspects of modern life. But Ontario's economy is connected to Canada's oil and gas industry in other important ways.

Economic benefits

Alberta, where Canada's oil and gas industry is centred, is one of Ontario's biggest customers; only the United States and Quebec are bigger markets for the province. In 2017, the oil and gas sector purchased $7.3 billion worth of goods and services from industries in Ontario – including $4.3 billion in manufacturing alone. This activity directly and indirectly supported over 71,000 jobs in the province.

Refining and pipelines

Apart from trade with Alberta and other oil and gas producing regions, Ontario also plays a significant role in the sector in its own right. There are four refineries in the province, with a combined capacity of 393,000 barrels per day, or about 20% of Canada's total refining capacity. There are also thousands of kilometres of pipelines in Ontario that serve to export oil and gas to the U.S., making Ontario a critical component of Canada's oil and gas industry overall.

Over $500 billion since 2000

Canada’s oil and gas industry paid over $500 billion in taxes and royalties to federal, provincial, and municipal governments between 2000 and 2019. That's about $25 billion per year to help pay for the roads, schools, and hospitals we all rely on. 

Beyond government revenues, our industry also has an outsized footprint in the overall economy. Between 2000 and 2020, Canada sold more than $1.54 trillion in oil and gas exports. But we're still leaving more revenue – and energy – on the table: In that same period, we still spent $424 billion on foreign oil imports, mostly to serve parts of Canada, like Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes, that lack pipeline infrastructure from Western Canada. 

Aerial view of a suspension bridge

Supporting hundreds of thousands of Canadian families

Canada’s oil and gas industry supported nearly 400,000 jobs across the country as of 2020. That's counting people directly employed by the industry, as well as in adjacent industries that work with oil and gas. It’s not counting other types of jobs, like hotels and restaurants, that support the industry in many communities, and likely would not exist without the economic impact that oil and gas provides.  

Worker in an industrial facility

Most of the products we use and rely on in our daily lives are made from oil and gas:

By the Numbers

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Oil and gas is a major driver of Canada’s economy, accounting for 5.6% of our overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2020.

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In revenues to government, through taxes and royalties from 2000-2019. Revenues our governments spend on schools, roads, hospitals, and other essential services we all use.

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Canada sold more than $1.54 trillion in oil and gas exports to the rest of the world, from 2000–2020. That's over $77 billion per year coming back to Canada.

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Despite our abundant oil and gas resources, Canada still spent over $400 billion buying foreign oil imports from 2000–2020. By using more of our own oil and gas, we stand to increase our energy independence.

If oil and gas came with a label, what would you learn?