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Opinion

Bailout for the oil and gas sector? Time for Alberta to pivot to the future

By Jatin Nathwani      

The trajectory and scale of what this human tragedy will deliver is unknown. What is known is the response of governments in Canada: a commitment to leave no stone unturned to support all efforts to stem the tide of the pandemic, minimize fatalities and help us get back on our feet economically.

The oilsands in Fort McMurray, Alta. The Government of Canada is in the midst of preparing a multi-billion-dollar bailout of the oil and gas industry. Herein lies a historic opportunity for Canada’s oil and gas sector to craft a new future that aligns with Canada’s aspiration to lower greenhouse gas emissions and yet ensure transformation of the sector that is orderly, supportive of workers and the social needs of communities dependent on the sector, writes Jatin Nathwani. The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

This is a historic opportunity for the oil and gas sector to transition to a low carbon energy economy. The COVID-19 pandemic has arrived in our midst, with a force, fury and features as ugly as Banquo’s ghost at Macbeth’s feast, enough to rattle individual sensibilities but also our collective sense of safety, well-being and security. The trajectory and scale of what this human tragedy will deliver is unknown. What is known is the response of governments in Canada: a commitment to leave no stone unturned to support all efforts to stem the tide of the pandemic, minimize fatalities and help us get back on our feet economically. The federal government’s willingness to intervene in the economy through a powerful fiscal stimulus, in the order of $107-billion, for income support to individuals and businesses is tangible evidence of a serious response.

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