Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a splash at last December’s Paris climate summit by promising that Canada would make cutting its carbon emissions a central priority. This week he travelled to Alberta to lavish assistance on the provincial economy already paying the highest price for the world’s cold shoulder to oil.
The province has seen tens of thousands of layoffs and evidence of rising family stress since the global price of oil began its free-fall in 2014. Trudeau arrived in Edmonton this week bearing financial assistance to ease its economic adjustment.
$250 million will go directly into the province’s coffers from a seldom-tapped federal fund for emergency fiscal assistance. The PM also promised to fast-track investments of up to $700 million from the government’s $20-billion national infrastructure commitment.
“Canadians help other Canadians when they are facing tough times,” Trudeau said. “That’s just how Canada works and that’s what we’re going to do.”
“We are facing some very serious challenges, we need a federal partner who understands these challenges, especially the economic and jobs situation in this province,” said Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. “It is clear that we have such a partner in Canada’s national government.”
It was the first time a sitting Canadian Prime Minister had met with the Premier of the country’s key oil-producing province since 2005.