Original language of petition: English
Canada’s energy sector is one of significant importance to both the Canadian economy and labour market. In 2018, Canada’s energy sector accounted for 10.6% of GDP; directly employed more than 281,000 people, including over 169,000 in the oil and gas sector; and indirectly employed over 550,000 people. Energy industries are quickly evolving in response to policies combatting climate change, resulting in associated labour market disruptions and creating anxiety among workers and communities.
The Government committed to achieving a net-zero carbon emissions economy by 2050. The Government recognizes that the transition to a net-zero carbon emissions economy will have an impact on oil and gas sector workers, especially in regions of the country where the sector drives economic growth.
The Minister of Natural Resources was mandated, with the collaboration of the Minister of Labour and the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, to ensure that workers and their communities will be aided in the transition to a low-carbon global economy through targeted investments, and services and programs to integrate workers and companies back into the labour market. To support the Government’s commitment to support a just transition for oil and gas workers and communities, the Task Force on Just Transition for Coal Power Workers and Communities was established in April 2018. The Task Force consulted extensively in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick and released their final report in March 2019, which included a suite of recommendations.
Through Budgets 2018 and 2019, the Government committed $185 million to support displaced oil and gas workers and communities impacted:
The Government also has several programs in place to support workers through times of transition, through income support and in upskilling and reskilling as the labour market evolves. These programs aim to support displaced workers by strengthening their long-term labour attachment and build a more resilient Canadian labour force:
Beyond income support measures, the Government has several programs in place to support the upskilling and reskilling of workers, including underrepresented workers. These include:
Indigenous Peoples Programming
Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Program helps close the employment, skills and earnings gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, focusing on employment skills development and training for higher-quality jobs, rather than rapid employment.
Skills and Partnership Fund leverages service-delivery and business partnerships to support Indigenous training and participation in current and emerging economic opportunities by funding targeted projects in federally identified priority areas.
Student Work Placement Program gives post-secondary students across Canada paid work experience related to their field of study through partnerships with businesses and post-secondary education institutions. To encourage the development of skills required, the Government has made investments specifically for student work placements for young Canadians enrolled in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and business programs, as well as work-integrated learning opportunities in cyber security and artificial intelligence.
Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) helps young people between the ages of 15 and 30 gain the information, skills, job experience and abilities they need to make a successful transition to the workplace.
Provincial and Territorial Transfers
Each year, the Government of Canada provides provinces and territories (PTs) with approximately $3 billion in ongoing funding through the Labour Market Development Agreements (LMDAs) and the Workforce Development Agreements (WDAs). These agreements enable PT governments to offer a range of skills training and employment supports to help Canadians improve their skills, and find and keep good jobs. Under these agreements, PTs have the flexibility to design and deliver employment programming that meets the needs of their local labour markets.
Building on these existing supports, Employment and Social Development Canada is committed to working with partners and stakeholders, including other federal Government departments and levels of government to support a just transition for workers in the oil and gas sector.
The Government of Canada is committed to taking meaningful climate action, investing in clean energy and supporting workers and communities in the transition to a low-carbon economy.
3. Invest in a just transition for oil and gas workers
The Government of Canada is helping to lead an inclusive economic recovery and building a global low-carbon economy. This includes supporting workers and a commitment to leaving no community behind. That commitment is why, for example, the government recently invested up to $2.5 billion in the energy sector to reduce emissions and remediate inactive oil and gas wells. This is how the government is helping to drive innovation, enhance environmental performance, create jobs, and support Canada’s economic recovery in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to the pandemic, the Government of Canada also established the Task Force on a Just Transition for Canadian Coal Power Workers and Communities to engage communities affected by the phase out of coal-fired electricity. Based on the Task Force’s recommendations, the government is investing $185 million in infrastructure, skills development and economic diversification initiatives in affected communities.
As well, the Government of Canada continues to look at other innovative ways to support the skills and employment needs of workers and communities across the country.
5. Invest in clean, renewable energy and/or other climate, and socially conscious investment opportunities
Canada is a global leader in clean technology and energy innovation. In fact, Canada ranks fourth on the Global Cleantech Innovation Index, and has 12 companies on the 2020 Global Cleantech 100 List. Additionally, Canada is 7th among member countries of the International Energy Agency for public expenditures on energy research, development, and demonstration. All of this reflects Canada’s growing leadership on the international stage – including its five-year commitment through Mission Innovation to double federal funding for clean energy research and development to $775 million this year.
In all, the Government of Canada has committed $2.3 billion in clean technologies since 2016. This includes significant investments in clean and renewable energy through the Pan-Canadian Framework (PCF), such as:
Other important measures under the PCF include pricing carbon pollution, phasing out coal-fired electricity, introducing new building codes (Build Smart) and investing in the production and use of low-carbon fuels. Further information on investments being made under the PCF is available in the annual synthesis reports.
In addition, the government has implemented numerous new programs and policies to leverage more private-sector investments. These initiatives include the Impact Canada Cleantech Challenges, the Breakthrough Energy Solutions Canada initiative with the Bill Gates-led Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund, and the Clean Growth Program. These emission-reduction initiatives support promising demonstration projects, help to commercialize Canadian ingenuity and ensure the nation’s innovators can compete in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.
As Canada takes its first steps toward a post-COVID-19 recovery, the government will take further action to build on all of these efforts to drive economic growth, combat a changing climate and ensure more inclusive prosperity.
1. Update Canada’s climate action targets to reflect science and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2018 report
In pursuit of efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, the Government of Canada is committed to exceed Canada’s Paris Agreement 2030 emissions reduction goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels, and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. Canada’s climate plan, the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, adopted on December 9, 2016, is a comprehensive plan which includes both individual and joint federal, provincial, and territorial climate actions to reduce emissions, accelerate clean economic growth, and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. This plan was developed in collaboration with provinces and territories, and with input from Indigenous Peoples, businesses, civil society, and Canadians across the country.
The Pan-Canadian Framework outlines over 50 concrete measures to reduce carbon pollution, help us adapt and become more resilient to the impacts of a changing climate, foster clean technology solutions, and create good jobs that contribute to a stronger economy. Key measures in the Pan-Canadian Framework include:
The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of tackling climate change while growing the economy as a means of creating jobs and ensuring competitiveness. Since 2015, the Government of Canada has committed about $60 billion to reduce emissions, adapt to a changing climate, protect the environment, and support clean technology innovation and the transition to a clean growth economy. Commitments include:
Canada’s 2019 greenhouse gas emissions projections show a widespread decline in projected emissions across the economy reflecting the breadth and depth of the Pan-Canadian Framework. However, the science is clear, global emissions must reach carbon neutrality by 2050 to limit warming to 1.5°C. The Government of Canada recognizes these findings and agrees that more work is needed. As such, the Government of Canada is committed to implementing the Pan-Canadian Framework, while strengthening existing and introducing new climate actions to exceed Canada’s 2030 emission reduction target. The Government of Canada is also committed to putting Canada on a path to achieve a prosperous net-zero emissions future by 2050. This includes setting legally-binding five-year emission-reduction milestones based on the advice of experts and Canadians.
The Government of Canada recognizes that more action is needed. Additional new climate measures include:
The federal government will look to the advice of experts and consultations with Canadians to ensure the path to net-zero is sensitive to the needs of our country, grows the economy, and makes life more affordable. Achieving Canada’s climate goals will require nothing short of a transformation of the Canadian economy, with corresponding impacts on and opportunities for Canadian workers.
The Canadian economy is currently facing important challenges in light of the COVID-19 pandemic situation. The Government of Canada’s number one priority remains keeping Canadians safe and supporting families and businesses through this extraordinary time. To help Canadians and businesses, the Government of Canada has announced support through the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which provides immediate help to Canadians and businesses that need it most.
The Government of Canada also recognizes that changes to our environment present a threat to our long-term health and economic prosperity. As such, the federal government announced that it will provide up to
$1.72 billion to clean up orphan and/or inactive oil and gas wells in British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, creating and maintaining thousands of jobs and generating lasting environmental benefits. In addition, the Government of Canada will provide up to $750 million to create a new proposed Emissions Reduction Fund to reduce emissions in Canada’s oil and gas sector, with a focus on methane. This fund will provide primarily repayable contributions to conventional and offshore oil and gas firms to support their investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition, climate conditions have been built into new financial support for businesses. On May 12, 2020, the Government of Canada announced support for large- and medium-sized businesses through the establishment of a Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility to provide bridge financing to Canada’s largest employers whose needs during the pandemic were not being met through conventional financing in order to keep their operations going. Recipient companies will be required to commit to publish annual climate-related disclosure reports consistent with the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, including how their future operations will support environmental sustainability and national climate goals.
As the economy recovers, the Government of Canada will continue effective, transparent, and efficient policy approaches to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, protect our environment, and position Canada for clean growth.
2. Eliminate all subsiies to the fossil fuel industry.
In 2009, Canada, as a member of the G20, committed to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies over the medium term. Canada’s commitment was further strengthened on June 29, 2016, when North American Leaders committed to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2025.
In recent years, Canada has taken significant steps to phase out a number of corporate income tax preferences for the oil and gas and coal mining sectors, including:
Canada will continue to review measures that could be considered fossil fuel subsidies, with a view to reforming them as necessary.
4. Cease from purchasing, subsidizing or supporting any future fossil fuel infrastructure.
The environment and the economy go hand-in-hand. When we create prosperity today, we can invest in the clean jobs, technologies, and infrastructure of the future — and help Canadians benefit from opportunities presented by a rapidly changing economy.
The key to creating prosperity is finding new markets for our businesses to sell their products and services. Nowhere is the need to diversify greater than for our energy sector, where 99 per cent of our conventional resources are sold to one market — and often at large discounts. Canadians understand that we need to open up new international markets, in order to get a full and fair price, support workers and their families, and foster competitiveness.
The Government’s purchase of the Trans Mountain Corporation (TMC) and approval of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP) was based on the confidence that:
On February 7, 2020, TMC announced that its Board of Directors had approved a total cost estimate of $12.6 billion to bring TMEP into service by the end of 2022. The Government is confident that the TMEP will generate a positive return for Canadians.
TMEP as it stands today is very different from the project that Kinder Morgan proposed in 2017. It has been designed to a higher standard for environmental protection, undergone rigorous consultation with Indigenous groups and will support union jobs in B.C. and Alberta. These enhancements have improved TMEP, ensured that construction proceeds in the right way, and that it will support the Canadian economy today and into the future.
The Government also announced that every dollar the federal government earns from TMEP will be invested in Canada’s clean energy transition. It is estimated that additional tax revenues from TMEP alone could generate $500 million per year once the project has been completed. This money will be invested in clean energy projects that will power our homes, businesses, and communities for generations to come.
In addition, the Government launched the second step of its engagement process with Indigenous groups on June 9, 2020, to explore the possibility of Indigenous economic participation in the Project. In this step of the engagement process, the Government is focused on building consensus on the form of economic participation in the Project preferred by participating Indigenous groups: equity and/or revenue sharing; and identifying or supporting the formation of one or more entities to represent participating Indigenous groups in negotiations with Canada.
By moving forward with TMEP, the Government is creating jobs, diversifying markets, accelerating Canada’s clean energy transition, and opening up new avenues for Indigenous economic prosperity.
Since Budget 2016, the Government has committed over $60 billion to support the transition to a clean economy – including:
Incentive for Zero-Emission Vehicles (iZEV) Program ($300 million) to provide Canadians with incentives of up to $5,000 for the purchase of eligible new zero-emission vehicles.
Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.
|Province / Territory||Signatures|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||4|
|Prince Edward Island||7|