ALBERTA

Alberta Energy Minister Sorry For Suggesting Albertans Move To B.C. To Find Work

12/04/2015 11:13 EST | Updated 12/04/2015 12:59 EST
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CALGARY — Alberta's energy minister is apologizing, saying she misspoke during an address when she suggested skilled journeymen with the right credentials could move to British Columbia to find work until energy prices bounce back.

Marg McCuaig-Boyd told a meeting of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Land Administration on Thursday that where she lives in northwestern Alberta, skilled workers can move back and forth to B.C. on jobs if they have the right credentials.

Later Thursday evening, she issued a statement to radio station CFFR saying that is not the position of either herself or the government on jobs.

She said the government wants to help "create opportunities to keep Albertans in Alberta.''

She also said she will continue to fight for jobs in Alberta and in the province's energy industry.

"... this oil price is hurting a lot of Albertans, so you just have to hunker down and get through it."

Earlier, McCuaig-Boyd told the association the government hopes people who have lost their jobs in the oilpatch will use the downturn to upgrade their skills and take advantage of apprenticeship programs.

She said pipelines must be built to get Alberta's oil to the coast and to overseas markets.

"It's a tough time for everybody, not just oil and gas, there's lot of jobs being lost in the services sector ... this oil price is hurting a lot of Albertans, so you just have to hunker down and get through it.''

In her statement, McCuaig-Boyd said the government is working with the energy industry, businesses of all sizes and entrepreneurs to diversify the economy, develop new opportunities and create good jobs.

"We are increasing investment in infrastructure, supporting trade development, and improving access to capital for small- and medium-sized businesses,'' she said. "By taking real action on climate change, we can change the conversation on pipelines and finally get access to new markets.''

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