Premier Jason Kenney issued the following statement on the federal government’s energy stimulus package:
“How we come through this economic crisis will depend in large part on the survival and the successful recovery of our country’s largest industry – the energy sector – on which some 800,000 Canadian jobs depend. We thank the federal government for taking this important first step to support the folks who work in our energy sector.
“The $1 billion partnership to address inactive wells aligns with Alberta’s commitment to ensuring our resources are developed in an environmentally sustainable fashion. This funding will immediately save or create thousands of jobs, keeping energy service companies going during these devastating times. It will also help us bring sites back to their original condition, leaving a cleaner environment for future generations. The $200 million loan to the Orphan Well Association will also help these efforts, demonstrating our commitment to producing Canadian energy under the world’s highest environmental standards.
“More support is needed to deal with the crisis in Canada’s energy sector, but this is a great first step. Our energy sector is facing its biggest challenge ever, and we need to be sure that industry can access the capital it needs to survive and thrive in future years. When the auto sector and the banks were threatened during the global financial crisis a decade ago, the economic strength of Alberta, powered by the energy industry, ensured that Canada was able to provide the urgent support they needed. We will continue to work with the federal government to ensure that the energy sector now gets the support it needs as it faces its own threats from both the COVID-19 pandemic and the Saudi-Russia price war.
“This unprecedented disruption in the world energy markets will eventually recede. Better times for the industry are a matter of when – not if – but only if the industry survives the next couple of years. We need to make sure Alberta is prepared and ready for the global recovery when the time comes. Alberta’s energy industry is the lifeblood of our provincial economy – and the largest subsector of Canada’s economy, as well as one of its biggest employers. The energy sector helps some of our country’s most important industries thrive, including health care, manufacturing and transportation.
“We are grateful for this job-creating initiative, and we will continue to work with the federal government until the energy sector has what it needs to survive and thrive for the benefit of all Canadians.”