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Energy sector looking for aid and regulation delays as throne speech looms

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Canada’s fossil-fuel sector is looking to this month’s throne speech for signs the federal government is not throwing in the towel on oil and gas.

At the same time Canadian climate strikers are threatening mass protests if the same speech doesn’t show a plan to eliminate all greenhouse-gas emissions produced by human activities in less than a decade.

Screen Shot 2020-06-08 at 5.12.34 PMTim McMillan, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau can use the throne speech Sept. 23 to send a signal to international investors that Canada’s oil and gas industry is a solid opportunity for investment.

He says the planned clean-fuel standard meant to force oil and gas companies to emit less greenhouse gas is out of whack with Canada’s main competitors for that investment and if the new standard isn’t postponed, many companies will simply not be able to comply.

Earlier this year Ottawa scaled back the requirements of the standard over the first few years to give companies more time to recover from the economic crisis caused by COVID-19, but McMillan says that is not enough.

Trudeau is also, however, facing pressure from thousands of Canadian youth in the Climate Strike Canada movement who say the throne speech is Trudeau’s “last chance” to convince them he really is a climate-change leader.