Toews optimistic about the future of the energy business


Grande Prairie – Wapiti MLA and Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews says he remains optimistic about the future of the energy industry.

“I’m encouraged to see that construction is moving forward on Enbridge Line 3. We’re seeing the Trans Mountain Pipeline construction continue. Work is continuing on the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline and so that is encouraging.”

Toews expects Line 3 pipeline to be operating this fall and Trans Mountain should be operational late next year.

He adds there are other encouraging signs for the sector.

“We’re seeing capital budgets increase in the Alberta energy industry, even this winter for drilling. We’re seeing additional rigs being deployed and that’s positive, particularly coming off such a difficult spring and summer in the energy industry.”

Seasonally adjusted numbers from Statistics Canada say the number of people employed in Alberta’s natural resource sector, one that includes oil and gas extraction and forestry, went up by 22,400 in January compared to December.

Toews is also encouraged by these figures.

“The fact that the energy industry is working at the level of activity that it is today in the Province of Alberta is incredibly encouraging, again, given the prospects and the outlook that we had last spring and early summer.”

Agriculture, construction, wholesale and retail, educational services and health care were also among the sectors that saw employment increases in January.

The accommodation and food service sector saw the biggest drop, with the number of people employed decreasing by 17,900 from December to January.