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Oilpatch welcomes federal aid for large firms despite climate change conditions

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pumpjack works at a well head on an oil and gas installation near Cremona, Alta., Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. Federal financing relief for large Canadian companies announced Monday was welcomed by the oil and gas sector and the Alberta government despite conditions that linked the aid to climate change goals. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

CALGARY — The oil and gas sector and the Alberta government are applauding a federal financing relief package for large Canadian companies despite conditions that could link the aid to an individual company's climate change goals.

In Edmonton, Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews welcomed the announcement, saying that the province's large companies, particularly in oil and gas and aviation, need relief quickly.

He says that while the province still needs to see the details of the federal plan, he is pleased there is no cap on the bridge financing offer. He says oil and gas companies should not face problems with the requirement to help meet federal climate change commitments.

A spokeswoman for oilsands producer Cenovus Energy Inc. says it is pleased that the federal government is recognizing that large corporations need help as well as the small and medium-sized ones who have already been offered aid.

Sonja Franklin says her company, which has set targets of 30 per cent greenhouse gas emissions intensity reduction and flat overall emissions by 2030, as well as achieving net zero GHG emissions by 2050, would be able to meet the federal requirements on climate change.

Tim McMillan, CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, says the program goes a long way to addressing the industry's request for short-term financial liquidity help and will likely be well used.

"I think this is essential. Not all companies are going to need to tap into this sort of liquidity ... but some that are normally high-quality, stable companies likely will be looking for this program to provide a certain amount of liquidity for them."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 11, 2020.

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The Canadian Press




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