Project expected to create about 5,300 direct jobs
The mainly federal government-funded Site Rehabilitation Program will provide grants to oilfield service contractors to perform well, pipeline, and oil and gas site reclamation work in Alberta.
“Alberta’s energy industry is the largest subsector of Canada’s economy, as well as one of its biggest job creators. We are creating almost 5,300 jobs for Alberta’s energy workers, while completing important work decommissioning and reclaiming abandoned pump jacks, pipelines and wells,” says Sonya Savage, minister of energy. “This will ensure that sites are properly addressed, benefiting landowners and Albertans across the province.”
The program will provide grants of between 25 and 100 per cent of total project costs and will be paid directly to the oilfield service company completing the work. It will provide funds in $100-million increments to companies significantly impacted by the economic downturn starting May 1. Physical distancing and COVID-19-related health guidelines must be followed in carrying out the work.
The first $100 million will be available for service companies to do eligible work anywhere in the province. Future increments may be allocated for work conducted in specific regions within the province, directing funds where they can have the most significant environmental benefits.
The program will also lead to indirect employment, helping support various sectors of Alberta’s economy – including restaurant and hotel workers, and many other businesses – as it begins to reopen and recover after the effects of COVID-19.
Contractors significantly impacted by the unprecedented economic downturn for contracts of up to $30,000 per application across Alberta can apply for a grant from May 1 to 31. This $100-million increment will focus on projects that are eligible for 100 per cent government funding.
Service companies affected by the pandemic for contracts of up to $30,000 and eligible for 100 per cent funding may apply from May 15 to June 15. This $100-million increment will focus on sites where some operators have failed landowners and where government is paying compensation to landowners as required under the Surface Rights Act. Future increments will be developed for larger projects.
Nearly half (49 per cent) of Canadian workers say COVID-19 has affected their employment, and half of them have lost their job temporarily (40 per cent) or permanently (11 per cent) because of the pandemic, according to a survey.
The Canadian government has also announced details around the 75 per cent wage subsidy for employers, a part of the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.