‘We didn’t ask for the opportunity to go further into debt,’ says Alberta premier
Dec 18, 2018
The federal government is promising more than $1.6 billion — most of it in loans — to support the ailing energy sector, but it’s unlikely to ease the heightened political tension between Ottawa and Alberta.
Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi and International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr made the announcement in Edmonton this morning.
The bulk of the money — $1 billion in commercial support — comes from Export Development Canada, the national export credit agency. It’s meant for oil and gas exporters who want to invest in new technologies and diversify their markets.
The funding package also includes $500 million over three years from the Business Development Bank of Canada, a Crown corporation, to help smaller companies increase operational and environmental efficiency, buy new technology and equipment or expand into new markets.
The government first made an official request to the EDC and BDC about making targeted money available this fall, said a senior government source.
An additional $150 million is pegged for clean growth and infrastructure projects — $50 million of it coming from Natural Resources Canada’s current Clean Growth Program, a $155 million investment fund for clean technology research and development.
Sohi said the money will be available immediately.
There is no longer any doubt. The current federal government is stark raving mad.
Offering loans to oil patch companies facing bankruptcy is ridiculous.
Export Development Canada helps get Canadian products to world markets. There is currently no means of getting Canadian oil to world markets. How does this government propose to sell oil it cannot deliver?
Because we lack pipelined to get our oil to tidewater and to the east cost, we are currently losing over $100 million per day. That is $ 36.5 billion dollars per year.
$1.6 billion in “support”, mostly loans, not real support, is about 4.4 % of our annual revenue losses. That does not reflect the billions in investments needed to build refineries and pipelines to get our oil to domestic and foreign markets.
Our government is deliberately supressing resource development that will dwarf the auto sector. The impact on every Canadian is enormous. Oil and gas development can fuel an economic resurgence that will improve the life of every one of us.
Oil is the primary energy source world-wide. Without energy, nations starve. Where oil and coal are not available, people burn wood or peat or cow dung to heat their homes and cook their food. They will, one way or another, get an oil supply, generate energy and improve their ability to survive.
Pipeline protestors offer us nothing. They are non-productive parasites. They don’t create wealth or employment. They have nothing to lose. How many people at the IPCC and various protest groups are unemployed after shutting down our resource development? They have nothing to lose.
Canadians from every corner of this nation have to make it clear to our government that the lunacy is over. We will benefit from resource development. We will not be driven or governed by unelected protest groups with an agenda that is contrary to our best interests.
Our government tends to grease squeaky wheels. We have to show them what real protest looks like. E-mails, letters, phone calls and texts area good start – they will be followed with peaceful street protests. If our government thinks that the green vest protests in Paris can’t happen here, it is in for a rude awakening.
Alberta and our resource sector need our support. We need our energy sector riding high again and fuelling development across Canada. Every province and every person will reap benefits. We need the work and we need to stand proud of caring for ourselves instead of running up bills and debt.