Government of Canada Announces Support for Workers in Canada’s Oil and Gas Sector 

News release

December 18, 2018                                            Edmonton, Alberta                    Natural Resources Canada                   

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, together with Canada’s Minister of International Trade Diversification, the Honourable Jim Carr, today announced more than $1.6 billion to support jobs and workers in Canada’s oil and gas sector as Canada seeks to diversify export markets for its resources beyond the United States. These measures will support workers and their families, foster competitiveness and improve the long-term environmental performance of the industry.

Today’s announcement is an investment in our country’s future and in thousands of jobs tied to our resource industry, while building on recent federal efforts to support Canada’s oil and gas sector. These include the Government’s $4.5-billion purchase of the Trans Mountain Pipeline and existing assets; the introduction of tax incentives — an accelerated capital cost allowance for businesses of all sizes — and plans to reduce the regulatory burden across the economy announced in the federal Fall Economic Statement; and Minister Sohi’s request of the National Energy Board to explore pipeline optimization.

These measures include:

  • $1 billion in commercial financial support from Export Development Canada to be made available to exporters of all sizes to assist companies looking to invest in innovative technologies, address working capital needs or explore new markets.
  • A new $500-million Energy Diversification commercial financing envelope over three years from the Business Development Bank of Canada to help higher risk but viable oil and gas small business enterprises weather the current market uncertainty.
  • A $50-million investment through Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Growth Program in oil and gas projects — projected to generate $890 million in investment.
  • $100 million through Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund in energy and economic diversification-related projects.

Investments from the National Trade Corridor’s Fund are also available for projects that address bottlenecks in the freight rail system to support the efficiency and fluidity of transportation of all commodities.

A suite of Employment and Social Development Canada services and programs is also available and can be deployed quickly to assist workers who may be negatively affected. This includes Work-Sharing to prevent layoffs and immediate income supports through Employment Insurance. Employment programming such as counselling, job search assistance, training and skills development programs delivered by provinces and territories is also available.


“The oil and gas industry is core to Canada’s economy. These investments will help protect jobs and restore competitiveness during this difficult time. We know that getting our resources to non-U.S. markets is the long-term solution to ensuring every barrel of oil gets its full value. That remains our focus, and we will continue to work hard to deliver results.”

Amarjeet Sohi
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources

“Alberta’s oil and gas expertise is recognized globally. Today’s investments respond to the current environment, but also demonstrate our confidence in the ingenuity and determination of Albertans to prevail in the global marketplace. This government is committed to helping any business, however small, tap the unparalleled trade deals and job-creating investment now open to Canadians.”

Jim Carr
Canada’s Minister of International Trade Diversification

“Innovation in our resource sector will drive its future success and ensure it continues to play an essential role in our economy and in the lives of Canadian families. The Government is taking decisive action to help restore competitiveness, support innovation, improve environmental performance and create more middle-class jobs.” 

Navdeep Bains
Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“The Government understands that small- and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of our economy, employing millions of Canadians. Market uncertainty has put strain on our oil and gas SMEs, and that’s why we are taking real action with commercial financing that will help Canada’s oil and gas businesses remain competitive and continue to create good, middle-class jobs across Canada.”

Mary Ng
Canada’s Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion

Associated links


Natural Resources Canada

Media Relations

Vanessa Adams
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources

Global Affairs Canada

Media Relations Office

Isabella Brisson-Urdaneta
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Trade Diversification

Transport Canada

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

Delphine Denis
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Finance Canada

Media Relations
Department of Finance Canada 

Pierre-Olivier Herbert
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance

Export Development Canada

Shelley Maclean
(613) 597-7988

Business Development Bank of Canada

Flavie Côté
Public Relations

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Media Relations

Dani Keenan
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Mallory Clyne
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion

Employment and Social Development Canada

Media Relations Office

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