The Alberta Oil Sands Impact on the Canadian Economy


The oil sands can be an important component of a secure future for Canada’s economy. The majority of the economic benefits associated with the oil sands will be felt in Alberta. However, Ontario could also see a $102 billion boost to its economy between 2000 and 2020. Provinces other than Alberta are affected by the oil sands mainly because the goods, services and equipment are coming from all over Canada.


Significant investments have been made to the oil sands. According to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, investments totaled approximately $8.5 billon in 2005 and about $8.8 billion in 2006. They also estimate that there will be up to $125 billion dollars in oil sands investments for 2006-2015.

Canada's GDP

The Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI) estimates that oil sands and oil sands-related activities together could contribute approximately $789 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) between 2000 and 2020. The Alberta oil sands would have a large impact on Canada’s GDP. The impact is estimated at $53 billion dollars. Nationally, CERI estimates that oil sands and oil sands-related activities will account for about 3% of Canada’s GDP by 2020, up from about 1.5% in 2000.

GDP Impact of Oil Sands Development, 2000-202


The oil sands would also create many job opportunities, and this would help strengthen the economy. They would generate approximately 5.4 million job opportunities in Canada over 2000-2020. These jobs would be created in sectors such as manufacturing and retail. 19% of the total employment impacts within Canada will be felt in Ontario, notably in the business services and manufacturing sectors.

Employment Impact of Oil Sands Development, 2000-202