The federal government is providing $1.7 billion to help create jobs in the energy sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the funding on Friday which will be used to clean up orphan wells in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia.
In Alberta alone, this is expected to help create around 5,200 jobs.
Trudeau says this should help the energy sector while also staying committed to helping the environment.
“These wells which are no longer in use can be detrimental, not only to our environment but to people’s health.”
The government is also allocating $750 million towards a new emission reduction fund.
This will primarily focus on lowering methane levels across the country.
“Just because we’re in a health crisis doesn’t mean we can neglect the environmental crisis,” added Trudeau.
Overall, these initiatives are expected to create around 10,000 jobs.
More Needed For Energy Sector
Alberta Senator Doug Black is calling these latest funding announcements welcomed news for the sector.
However, he believes more is needed to support Canada’s economic workhorse.
This includes better supports for small and medium-sized energy companies who are struggling financially.
“The money to keep the lights on and to keep their employees paid after the temporary assistance the government of Canada is offering ends.”
The federal government says they are working on expanding credit to medium-sized businesses to help them during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, two weeks ago Black sent a letter to Trudeau asking to create a Canadian Economic Recovery Council.
This panel would include several economic experts from across the country and in different sectors who’ll focus on helping the country when the pandemic is all said and done.
“When we know our economy is going to be in tatters, and it’s gonna be in tatters, what are the opportunities that we can capitalize on in this country and what are the things we need to avoid going forward,” added Black.
He adds he’s had a lot of support for the council and is hoping the government gets behind the idea.