Alberta makes big statement with $3.4 billion earmarked for renewables
On Thursday the Alberta government released their 2016 budget, taking a bold new direction by funding large-scale green energy projects to the tune of $3.4 billion over the next five years. We’re happy to see this and many other positive first steps for workers struggling to find employment, including $25 million for new apprenticeship and training opportunities.
News from our neighbours to the far east made us doubly thankful for progress in Alberta: Newfoundland and Labrador’s budget didn’t include any money for green energy at all. It also went so far as to include a budget deficit reduction levy of $300 to $900 for most wage earners in the province.
The Alberta government’s decision to prioritize spending in Canada's growing renewable energy sector shows a commitment to creating new opportunities. However, many of the budget commitments won’t actually start generating employment opportunities for years. Apprenticeship and training funding isn’t very detailed, but hopefully it gets some of our out-of-work members back on the job quickly.
Oil prices have sunk two years running and Canada has seen more than 40,000 job losses in the oil and gas industry. These job cuts will increase by many thousands into the year, while laid off tradespeople are eager to transfer their skills and contribute to the economy.
That’s why it’s so important the renewables and training funding is spent wisely. Government and industry allies need to do as much as possible to increase employment and transition opportunities.
Iron & Earth is working with oil and gas companies, unions, clean energy entrepreneurs, community leaders and workers to help build relationships and streamline the direct transfer of skills. We have a plan to retrain 1,000 out of work oilsands workers in solar energy. Together, we are forging a path toward rapidly diversifying Canada’s energy sector. Please click to here to help make it happen.
What happens in Alberta impacts the rest of the country, so let it also act as an example.
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