April 17, 2020

Trudeau announces $1.7B to clean up orphan wells in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government is investing $1.7 billion to clean up orphan wells in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan to keep people working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trudeau made the announcement Friday morning and said the goal is to create immediate jobs in these provinces, while helping companies avoid bankruptcy.

“These wells, which are no longer in use, can be detrimental, not only to our environment but to people’s health,” Trudeau said.

“Cleaning them up will bring people back to work and help many land owners who have had their wells on their property for years but haven’t been able to get them taken care of and the land restored.”

The prime minister said this investment will help maintain 5,200 jobs in Alberta alone.

“Right now, workers and families are struggling because of things beyond their control. Both the devastating effects of the pandemic and the price war driven by foreign interests are a challenge.”


In a statement, the Business Council of Alberta said the funding announcement is welcome news for energy companies, working Albertans and the environment.

“This is a win-win, that will keep thousands of Albertans working in some of our hardest hit industries, while also improving the environment. However, additional support is still needed, specifically liquidity, for some of Canada’s most significant energy companies.”


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In the spirit of truth, reconciliation, and respect, we honour and acknowledge the lands upon which we live and work as guests, including the traditional territories of the First Nations in Treaties 6, 7, and 8 and the citizens of the Metis Nation of Alberta. We thank the First Peoples of this land, which we now call Alberta, for their generations of stewardship of the land, and we seek to walk together in the spirit of truth and reconciliation to build a shared future for all in Alberta.

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