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Liberals pledge $2B to help 'transition' oilpatch workers

Last Updated Sep 1, 2021 at 1:23 pm MDT

A pumpjack works at a well head on an oil and gas installation near Cremona, Alta., Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. Federal financing relief for large Canadian companies announced Monday was welcomed by the oil and gas sector and the Alberta government despite conditions that linked the aid to climate change goals. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

CALGARY — The federal Liberals are proposing a $2-billion fund to help workers in oil-producing provinces transition to a greener economy.

The Liberals say they will partner with workers and communities in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador to create jobs. They will help workers upgrade their skills and train for new careers in lower-carbon sectors.

The Alberta Federation of Labour supports the plan. It says thousands of oil and gas jobs have been lost in recent years due to low prices and consolidation.


AFL president Gil McGowan says Alberta workers need federal support. He says more jobs will be lost in future as the world moves away from fossil fuels.

But the mayor of Cold Lake, Alta. disagrees. Craig Copeland says thousands of people in his city work in Alberta’s oilsands. He says they want to keep the jobs they have, not retrain for new ones.

Copeland says federal funds should go to oilsands companies instead to help them reduce emissions and meet their climate targets.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 1, 2021.

The Canadian Press