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

EDMONTON, Dec. 18, 2018 - 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



1. What is BDC doing to support oil and gas-impacted clients?

BDC has made available an Energy Diversification commercial financing envelope of up to 500 million dollars over three years for eligible small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). BDC is offering repayable commercial loans in order to help these SMEs with higher risk but viable business strategies navigate through the market turbulence. The Bank also offers advisory services to help businesses operate more efficiently and profitably.

2. What can the financing be used for?

Financing can be used to help your company expand into new markets, increase operational and environmental efficiency, or purchase new technology and equipment.

3. Who is eligible for financing?

BDC is offering repayable commercial loans to help higher risk companies in O&G related sectors across the country, as well as in all industries in AB, SK, NL and North BC navigate through the market turbulence.

  • Eligible entities must be viable and be located in one of these regions: AB, SK, North of BC (Fort St. John’s market) and NL.
  • BDC can help businesses in other regions on a case-by-case analysis.

4. What is a viable company?

A viable company needs to have a plan to adjust to the new business environment and management capacity to execute the plan. For example, the plan could lay out how the company intends to expand into new markets, increase operational and environmental efficiency, or purchase new technology and equipment.

It should be able to demonstrate ability to generate positive cash flow and service its obligations in the near term. The company also needs to have a relatively strong balance sheet. Other conditions may also apply.

5. What exactly are the services that BDC is providing? Are they tailored?

BDC Advisory Services offers many solutions to help companies grow their sales, improve productivity or export.

Our Advisory Services can support businesses that have $5M + revenues by providing them with a free Business Model Canvas to identify strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.

6. I think my business is a fit for this initiative. Who should I reach out to?

If you are already a BDC client, please contact your BDC representative. If you are not yet a client and wish to discuss your financing or advisory needs, please contact BDC at 1-877-232-2269 or write us.

7. Where can I find additional information about export financing and insurance solutions?

EDC can help you export with confidence through a range of financing and insurance solutions to increase your access to working capital and mitigate risks. To learn how EDC can help you, call 1-888-220-0047 or write to .

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