The Federal Government of Canada has just invested another $1.6 billion toward the country’s oil and gas sector.
The money aims to assist companies that would innovate in new technologies and to potentially explore new markets.
The announcement was made on Tuesday, December 18 in Edmonton by Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi.
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Sohi touched on Canada’s multi-billion dollar purchase of the Trans Mountain Pipeline project from Kinder Morgan this past May as an example of the Federal Government’s dedication to the sector, however, the project remains indefinitely halted due to an August decision from Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal.
A new environmental impact study was launched in September that aims to remedy the issues that the court found with the initial National Energy Board review, but that study still has nine weeks to go, given the estimated 22-week time frame announced back in September.
“Nothing has demonstrated our government’s support for the energy sector more than our decision to purchase the trans-mountain pipeline expansion,” Sohi said at the Tuesday announcement.
“A $4.5 billion dollar investment in our province’s future and our country’s future. Today we are building on that track record by announcing more than 1.6 billion in supports for … Canada’s energy sector.”
The $1.6 billion is broken down in a release from the Government of Canada, with the majority ($1 billion) going towards support for exporters and companies who would want to invest in new technologies, address their capital needs, or explore ways of reaching new markets.
$500 million is going towards helping small businesses survive through the tumultuous economy currently faced by the oil and gas sector, and will be done so through the Business Development Bank of Canada.
Another $100 million will be invested in the Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada’s Strategic Innovations Fund for diversification-related projects, according to the release.
And a final $50 million will be put towards the Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Growth Program, which aims to generate an investment of $890 million through oil and gas projects.
“All of this reflects our commitment to energy workers and the important role the energy sector plays in our national economy,” Sohi said at the announcement.
“Together we can build a stronger Alberta, a more prosperous Canada, and a brighter tomorrow for all.”
It was also noted in the release that investments from the National Trade Corridor’s Fund are available for projects that may be able to help with the bottlenecks faced by the rail system, though it was not stated that any funding would go towards Rachel Notley’s plans to increase the shipping of crude oil via rail.
Conservative Leader Andrew Sheer commented on the $1.6 billion investment when he attended a rally in Nisku, Alberta, stating that the number one priority should be getting the pipeline built.
“Give a province $1.6 billion and you might feed them for a couple of weeks, but let them build a pipeline to get our energy to market and you can feed them for a generation.”