Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that more financial aid will be provided for Canada’s energy sector to improve environmental conditions and keep more jobs.
On Friday, Trudeau said that $1.7 billion will be given to Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia to clean up orphaned and abandoned oil wells.
The prime minister noted that the effort will maintain jobs, keep businesses running, and help the environment.
“These wells are no longer in use and are detrimental to the environment and peoples’ health,” Trudeau said.
“By cleaning them up, we will create jobs for workers.”
Cleaning up the oil wells will also help landowners who cannot get rid of the wells on their own.
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In addition, a $750 million Emission Reduction Fund will be created to reduce emissions, with a focus on methane gas.
Of that fund, $75 million will be given to the oil and gas companies to reduce their emissions offshore of Newfoundland, which Trudeau said will “protect jobs and increase their competitiveness.”
He also said that many energy firms have a cash crunch due to the pandemic and do not have the means to invest in technologies to work on reducing emissions and help with methane leaks.
But, the fund will allow for environmental work to be done through the wells and methane initiatives, keeping 10,000 jobs across the country, with 5,200 in Alberta alone.
There will also be more credit available through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada to help small and medium-size oil companies, in order to keep their employees and maintain operations.