NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has tried to quell criticism of his proposed climate change policies which would greatly reduce the production of gas and oil in the oil sands, reducing the number of workers by extension.
“His party’s plan calls for cutting subsidies to oil and gas companies as a way to encourage a transition to renewable energy sources — part of a general pledge shared by the NDP, Greens and Liberals to cut emissions over the coming years,” reported Global News.
In response to the backlash over this plan, Singh has promised to assist workers in finding new employment opportunities appropriate for their skills with government revenue generated from increasing taxes on people making over $20 million.
Historically speaking, the rich tend to move their money and themselves to different jurisdictions when governments’ raise taxes suddenly and significantly.
He also suggested hiring the unemployed oil and gas workers for various government housing projects the NDP has planned in its platform.
“These are ways for people with the skills in the resource sector to put those to use in other sectors,” Singh said.
“We can make that happen. It’s about commitments, it’s about having the courage to do it and we’re ready to do it.”
Singh also admitted that he’s heard the concerns of Albertans who would feel wronged should his plans be put into action. During a speech in Toronto, he recalled one such conversation with an engineer and son of an oil sands worker.
“And he says, ‘I’m going through the same thing my dad went through. I’m also facing now the fear of losing my job,’” Singh said.
“So, no matter how hard people work in resource sectors, through no fault of their own — because of international, global markets, as commodities go up and down — people go through busts and booms. People deserve better than that. The good people of Alberta deserve better than that.
“So, my commitment is this: I want to invest into programs and an economy that’s more sustainable, that’s more long-lasting.”