Liberals pledge $2B to help 'transition' oilpatch workers


The federal Liberals are proposing a $2-billion fund to help workers in oil-producing provinces transition to a greener economy.

The Liberals say they will partner with workers and communities in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador to create jobs. They will help workers upgrade their skills and train for new careers in lower-carbon sectors.

The Alberta Federation of Labour supports the plan. It says thousands of oil and gas jobs have been lost in recent years due to low prices and consolidation.

AFL president Gil McGowan says Alberta workers need federal support. He says more jobs will be lost in future as the world moves away from fossil fuels.

But the mayor of Cold Lake, Alta. disagrees. Craig Copeland says thousands of people in his city work in Alberta's oilsands. He says they want to keep the jobs they have, not retrain for new ones.

Copeland says federal funds should go to oilsands companies instead to help them reduce emissions and meet their climate targets.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 1, 2021