Hon. Marty Klyne: Minister, we know that as all provinces and cities strive to reach emissions that are 40% to 45% below 2005 levels, many will do it by phasing out coal plants, as Saskatchewan has said it will do. In that regard, we need to be ready to mobilize and ready a workforce that’s prepared to work in a low-carbon-emissions economy.
What is your government doing to ensure a bright future for energy workers and to demonstrate the upside of this just transition in terms of transferable skills transitioning to well‑paying, steady jobs for Western Canadians who are working in a low-carbon economy, which they are not now?
Hon. Seamus O’Regan, P.C., M.P., Minister of Labour: I don’t know whether if you put “just transition” in air quotes it shows up in Hansard.
Look, it’s not a matter of workers finding themselves in a low‑carbon environment. Workers will create that environment. They will lead this. Let me finish an answer that I did not get a chance to finish earlier.
When I sit down and talk with the union leadership in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador, they are firmly in charge of this. We doubled Union Training and Innovation Program funding for union training centres, for instance, and I will be a big advocate for increasing the funding for them. In other words, I want them to point out where the opportunities lie as we lower emissions and build up renewables. That is what we’re doing. That will all happen with energy workers. It will all happen with people who are currently in the industry, and I would argue that we need more on top of it.
We have to build up carbon capture. To be honest with you, we have a great agreement with the Alberta and Saskatchewan governments, and certainly Newfoundland and Labrador.
Industry is embracing this as well. With great pride, I acknowledge that the industry association in Newfoundland and Labrador, which was called Noia, the Newfoundland & Labrador Oil & Gas Industries Association, is now called Energy NL. They completely not only embrace and champion oil and gas, as they always have, but now they’re embracing hydrogen, hydro and all of the in-between and how they all work together. That is how we go about it. That is how we do it.
I’m very proud of my crowd. I think out my way, we see the world very practically. This is the way the world is going, and we want to be on top of it.