AMONG the most abundant of Canada's natural resources, coal is near the head of the list. A comparatively recent estimate placed the coal reserves of the Dominion at more than 1,234,000,000,000 metric tons, or about 16 per cent of the world's coal reserves. The principal coalfields of Canada are in Nova Scotia, Alberta, and British Columbia, while the chief centres of industry and population are in Ontario and Quebec-2000 miles to the east and 1000 miles to the west. The great coalfields of the eastern United States lie only 300-500 miles to the south of the southern boundaries of Ontario and Quebec, and from those fields these two provinces import most of their coal, because it is more economical to do so. For the past thirty years Canada has imported from 50 to 60 per cent of its total coal requirements from the United States.