The energy sector is getting some support from the federal government. Ottawa is committing more than $2.4 billion to the sector after a proposal was announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday morning.
The money comes in the form of a $1.7-billion investment for cleaning up orphaned and inactive wells, as well as an additional $750 million for an emissions reduction fund. Trudeau said the fund will help companies reduce methane emissions at a time when they have little cash flow.
He said the two measures, taken together, will support about 10,000 energy sector jobs across in Newfoundland, Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.
“Our goal is to create immediate jobs in these provinces, while helping companies avoid bankruptcy and supporting our environmental targets,” Trudeau said Friday from outside his Ottawa residence.
During the daily press conference on COVID-19 Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe explained that the industry should have a measure similar to that for the auto industry over a decade ago due to the industry’s liquidity issues.
“There are levers that the federal government can pull and we are asking them to pull them. And we expect that they will in the days ahead. We are very appreciative of the program that was put forward here today,” Moe said.
The province is not aware of all of the details for the program.
“If there is a provincial participation that is required we will be looking at that very closely and working with our industry to insure that this investment can be made in the very best interest of keeping Saskatchewan people working and keeping our very vibrant and I would say one of the most sustainable energy industries in the world alive, healthy and well,” Moe said.
-With files from Arthur White-Crummey Regina Leader-Post