The Saskatchewan NDP is arguing that money provided by Ottawa should not just help oil companies.
Premier Brad Wall circulated the idea to get people who are out of work oil in the oil patch back to work cleaning up decommissioned wells. But the plan requires $156 million from the federal government.
NDP finance critic Trent Wotherspoon pointed out there are already three provincial programs to help companies clean up oil wells, and they require that oil companies pay into a fund to remediate wells abandoned by companies that have gone out of business.
He says the priority should be investing in public infrastructure to create jobs and stimulate the economy, not just the energy sector.
“Oil companies should be living up to their responsibility to clean up their oil wells. That shouldn’t be left up to taxpayers,” said Wotherspoon. “When the economy gets tight, Saskatchewan people deserve a government that will focus on middle-class families throughout the province – not a government that just wants millions to go straight into the pockets of some oil companies.”
The NDP maintains any financial help from Ottawa should be broad in nature.