‘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.

Just Posted

Nanaimo hunters may have harvested deer in area known for chronic wasting disease

Conservation officers make urgent request to public for any information

Nanaimo man caught with more than 200,000 child porn images to be sentenced

Crown says Aaron Macrae recorded video of children on buses and at his workplace

City of Nanaimo budget talks underway, projected tax increase up to 5.6 per cent

Series of special finance and audit meetings was held Wednesday at conference centre

One person injured in rollover crash on Nanaimo Parkway

Accident happened a little after noon in southbound lanes near Cedar Road

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Save small park’s trees

Everybody uses oxygen produced by this, and every other park, says letter writer

One person injured in rollover crash on Nanaimo Parkway

Accident happened a little after noon in southbound lanes near Cedar Road

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

B.C. widow suing health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed her husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

City of Nanaimo to issue alert as it moves to new emergency information system

Municipality will send out reminder Thursday, Nov. 21, asking residents to switch to new system

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Time for a ban on leaf blowers

Loud noise can cause heart attacks, deafness and mental disorders, says letter writer

Nanaimo’s Kirkwood Academy presents 20th production of ‘The Nutcracker’

More than 150 dancers of all ages to participate in classic Christmas ballet Nov. 22-23

Cowichan Milk Company: from grass to glass, bottled milk right to your door

Farm stand open 6 days a week, and home delivery is available everywhere from Mill Bay to Chemainus.

Most Read