By February 4, 2016 Read More →

Alberta oil industry providers meet with Canadian Prime Minister

Justin Trudeau, Jim Carr, Rachel Notley meet with Alberta oil, gas producers

Justin Trudeau

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Edmonton on Wednesday.  On Thursday, the two will be joined by Natural Resource Minister Jim Car at a roundtable with Alberta oil industry players.  Justin Trudeau Twitter photo.

CALGARY _ Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is sitting down in Calgary this morning with some of the major players in Canada’s oilpatch.

Trudeau, federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley are taking part in a roundtable with oil and natural gas producers, and are still to meet with the industry’s goods and services providers.

“I look forward to hearing some of your concerns and some of the ways the federal government can be a better partner in helping you through this difficult time,” Trudeau said as the first meeting began.

“I’m glad to be here with Premier Notley, who is very much engaged in this situation.”

Included in the session are senior representatives from Shell, Suncor Energy (TSX:SU), Husky Energy (TSX:HSE), Cenovus Energy (TSX:CVE), Canadian Natural Resources (TSX:CNQ), Imperial Oil (TSX:IMO) and Encana (TSX:ECA).

The province’s oil sector is looking for strong signals that Trudeau is serious about helping deliver its commodity to coasts where it can be shipped to foreign markets.

A key plank in that plan is Energy East, a controversial pipeline that has drawn the ire of many along its route through Central Canada to the Atlantic coast.

Trudeau has faced pressure from some, including Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, to advocate for the project rather than playing peacemaker between the different sides.

Trudeau has said he wants to let the approval process play out through the National Energy Board.

On Wednesday, the prime minister and Notley emerged from a meeting in Edmonton to announce a formal commitment by Ottawa to fast-track $700 million in previously committed federal infrastructure money to the struggling province.

Notley said talks are continuing on where the money, expected in a matter of weeks to months, should go and how to get it flowing.

Her government ramped up infrastructure spending in its last budget to catch up on a backlog of projects and help keep the economy moving in difficult times.

The federal government has been saying it wants to expedite $13.1 billion in existing national infrastructure cash allocated in 2014-15 by the previous Conservative government, but never spent.

Notley said she also pushed Trudeau to make changes to Employment Insurance that would broaden access for laid-off energy workers.

Trudeau didn’t make any commitments around EI, but noted that his party campaigned on easing access to the program in times of need.

The Canadian Press.

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