London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

Canada's energy jobs transition bill sparks discord in oil heartland

Canada's energy jobs transition bill sparks discord in oil heartland

In Canada's western oil patch, controversy is raging over federal government legislation intended to help the fossil fuel labour force transition to a greener economy, but union and community leaders are warning politicization of the Just Transition bill obscures the needs of workers.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government is expected to table its long-awaited workforce transition bill this spring, ahead of economic changes expected as they pursue ambitious goals to slash climate-warming emissions.

The government of Alberta, Canada's main crude-producing province, says the legislation will dismantle the oil and gas industry that makes up 5% of Canada's GDP.

"When I hear the words "Just Transition" it signals eliminating jobs and for Alberta, that is a non-starter!" Alberta's Conservative Premier Danielle Smith wrote on Twitter last week.

The oil and gas sector employs around 185,000 workers, making the bill a hot topic in Alberta ahead a provincial election in May. Smith is using the threat of job losses to attack Trudeau and rally her conservative base, although she has been criticised for misinterpreting how many jobs may be at risk.

The Trudeau government is trying to soothe concerns about the bill, first promised in 2019. A government source familiar with the file, who is not authorized to speak publicly, said the legislation will be about principles to guide decisions and creating jobs.

Trudeau told Reuters in a recent interview that the sooner Alberta's "political class" understood the future is not to be feared, the better. 

"This shouldn't be a political issue, this is an issue about what's really happening in the global economy," said Gil McGowan, President of the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL).

COAL PHASE-OUT LESSONS
The focus should be on helping communities adjust to sweeping industrial changes and economic diversification, McGowan said, pointing to Alberta's recent coal phase-out as a case study.

Later this year, Alberta's last coal-fired power station will convert to natural gas, part of an accelerated energy transition first announced in 2015 that will wrap up seven years ahead of schedule.

More than 3,100 people worked in the province's thermal coal industry in 2015. Some workers took early retirement, others went north to the oil patch or moved to other industries, while others found work in mine reclamation or the newly converted gas power stations.

The Parkland Institute research centre estimated in 2019 that up to 3,500 new jobs would be created in renewable energy and coal-to-gas power station conversions, but lead author Ian Hussey now says that number was far too low.

"Renewable investment has taken off in Alberta in a way that was never even dreamed of when we did that research," he said.

The oil and gas sector is currently experiencing a skills shortage amid tight labour markets globally, but the current workforce is 18% smaller than the 2014 peak of 225,900, according to Energy Safety Canada. Think tank Clean Energy Canada estimates there could be 200,000 clean energy jobs created by 2030.

If done right, the bill could incentivise technologies like carbon capture and hydrogen and be Canada's answer to the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, the $430-billion green energy subsidy package passed last year, the AFL's McGowan added.

Ex-coal miner Len Austin, who now runs a government-funded Just Transition centre supporting former coal workers, said policymakers made a "really good effort" with programs such as retirement bridging, relocation packages and C$12,000 ($8,945.21) retraining vouchers.

But there was insufficient funding for economic diversification and infrastructure projects within coal communities to create new jobs, and governments need to understand not everyone can work in renewables, he added.

"It's 100% not that simple...to go from making C$100,000 to C$40,000 plays a big part in the decision-making that comes with the idea of losing your livelihood," Austin said.
Comments

Oh ya 1 year ago
Alberta and Saskatchewan need to break away from Canada. British Columbia can join whats left of Canada or go join the nutbars in western Oregon as they have the same socialist mindset. Justin Castro is one of the WEF puppet boys. People should remind justin that his mom was a slut and ask who he thinks his, real father is

Newsletter

Related Articles

London Daily
0:00
0:00
Close
News roundup
Good day, everyone! We've got some gripping stories for you today, spanning from the Middle East to Europe, and even a touch of Hollywood.
Britain’s Refugee Visa Rules Stranding Children in War Zones
UK Elections Predict ‘Electoral Extinction’ for PM Sunak’s Conservative Party
Italian Activist Ilaria Salis Returns Home After Election to European Parliament
Good morning!
England Faces Serbia in Euro Opener with Defensive Concerns
Dermatologist Warns Against Sunbed Usage
Fake Pro-Reform UK Social Accounts and Their Influence on Elections
UK Man Jailed for Non-Consensual Condom Removal
Reform UK Surpasses Conservatives in Historic Poll
US, Britain, Canada Accuse Russia of Interference in Moldova’s Election
Taylor Swift Fans Create Seismic Activity in Edinburgh
Sunak Aide Under Investigation for Election Bet
Labour Leader Starmer Focuses on Wealth Creation for Upcoming UK Elections
G7 to Use Frozen Russian Assets for $50 Billion Ukraine Aid
Anti-Israel Irish MEP Clare Daly LOST her seat in the EU Election
Johnson & Johnson Settles Talc Safety Claims for $700 Million
EU Urged to Welcome Skilled Russians to Weaken Putin
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Israel Rescues Four Hostages from Gaza
Emmanuel Macron Calls for Snap Election
Jordan Bardella: Young Far-Right Leader Poised for Future Political Influence in France
World's Oldest Privately Owned Book Auctioned for $3.8 Million
Animal Rights Activists Deface King Charles' Portrait in Protest
Dutch Military Intel Uncovers Extensive Chinese Cyber Espionage
Turkish Student Arrested for Using AI to Cheat in University Exam
Rise in Dengue and Other Mosquito-Borne Diseases in Europe Due to Climate Change
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Far-Right National Rally Dominates France's EU Vote
Macron Calls Snap Legislative Elections After Far-Right Victory
Far-Right Gains Significantly in EU Election
UK Job Market Shows Signs of Recovery
Orban’s Fidesz Party Wins Majority in Hungary’s EU Elections as New Challenger Emerges
Meloni's Far-Right Party Wins European Elections in Italy
Key Insights from the European Union Elections
European Union Elections and Rise of Far-Right Parties
England Loses Over 260,000 Social Rent Homes in a Decade
Campaigners Urge Government to Block Shein's FTSE Listing
First NHS AI-Run Physiotherapy Clinic Launches This Year
British TV Presenter Michael Mosley Found Dead on Greek Island
Ukrainian Forces Claims First Strike on Russia's Su-57 Fighter Jet
Macron Dissolves Parliament and Calls Snap Elections
Russia Adds Yulia Tymoshenko to Wanted List
UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron Tricked by Hoax Caller Posing as Former Ukrainian President
Kate Middleton's Absence from Colonel's Review Due to Chemotherapy
UK Foreign Secretary Deceived by Prank Video Call
Sunak Criticised Over D-Day Exit in BBC Debate
Rishi Sunak Apologizes for Leaving D-Day Commemoration Early
UK Woman Sentenced After Causing Fatal Crash While Sending Selfies
×