‘A stronger Alberta:’ Ottawa announces $1.6B for Canada’s oil and gas sector

Price of Alberta oil plummeted so low that Alberta’s Premier said Canada was practically giving it away

Ottawa is spending $1.6 billion to help struggling energy companies stay afloat, buy new equipment and diversify as Alberta grapples with bargain basement oil prices.

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi says $1 billion is to be set aside through Export Development Canada for oil and gas companies to make capital investments and purchase new technology.

Another $500 million is to be made available through the Business Development Bank of Canada over the next two years to help smaller oil and gas companies navigate the downturn.

Sohi says a further $150 million is to be used for clean growth and infrastructure projects.

The package does not include money for more rail cars that Alberta is planning to purchase to help move a glut of oil behind the low price of Canadian oil.

Sohi says the money, largely in the form of commercial loans, is available immediately.

READ MORE: Speaker at rally says Alberta oil ‘puts tofu on the table in Toronto!’

“We understand that when Alberta hurts, so does Canada,” Sohi said Tuesday. “Together we can build a stronger Alberta (and) a more prosperous Canada.”

The price of Alberta oil plummeted so low last month that Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said Canada was practically giving it away. While the world sells its oil at about $50 a barrel, Alberta’s oil at one point fetched only $11 a barrel.

Notley plans to buy as many as 80 locomotives and 7,000 rail tankers — expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars — and has announced an oil production cut to begin next year. That has helped push the price back up.

She has said Canada’s economy is still losing as much as $80 million a day because of the discount.

“We understand that for the long-term success and growth of the oil sector, nothing is more important than building the pipeline capacity to expand our non-U.S. global markets,” Sohi said.

The Trans Mountain expansion project, which would triple the flow of oil to the British Columbia coast, is in limbo despite being approved two years ago. Ottawa is revisiting the potential impacts on First Nations and B.C.’s marine environment.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Forest industry supporters and convoy arrive at B.C. legislature

Rally delivers petition in favour of ‘working forests’

Port McNeill council tackles the issue of AirBnBs

Council wants a public hearing to identify options for short-term rentals in Port McNeill.

Port McNeill council roundup: Feb. 11 meeting

Various stories from Port McNeill council’s Feb. 11 meeting.

Forestry workers vote for new agreement, ending 8-month strike on Vancouver Island

Wage increases, higher premiums and contract language part of new agreement

REVIEW: Poetry helps Conshinz heal from brain trauma

The Book of 1000 Poems, Volumes 1-4, by Conshinz, a.k.a. Port Alice… Continue reading

Protesters barricade Premier John Horgan’s home ahead of B.C. budget unveiling

Demonstrators from the Extinction Rebellion have blocked the Langford driveway

Ten poisoned eagles rushed to veterinary hospital in Nanaimo

Eagles stricken after eating flesh of euthanized animal at Nanaimo Regional Landfill

Trudeau says Wet’suwet’en crisis, rail blockades a critical moment for country

First Nations leaders suggest it may be time to peacefully end the blockades

Sightseeing airplane crashes into Greater Victoria farm

Two sent to hospital with minor injuries after Cessna 172 crash at 8:55 a.m.

B.C. budtenders become first private cannabis workers to unionize in Canada

Two of seven Clarity Cannabis storefronts vote to join UFCW 1518 union

Kids exposed to household cleaners as newborns more likely to get asthma: B.C. study

Air fresheners, plug-in deodorizers, antimicrobial hand sanitizers and oven cleaners were the worst culprits

Victoria, Abbotsford record biggest jumps in rent prices nationwide: report

Toronto and Vancouver had priciest rentals in Canada

VIDEO: Convoy of forest industry supporters on its way to Victoria

Rally at the B.C. legislature begins with participants setting off from Campbell River

Teen snowmobiler found safe after overnight search in Okanagan

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Most Read