Canada's energy jobs transition bill sparks discord in oil heartland

By Nia Williams and Steve Scherer (Reuters) - In Canada's western oil patch, controversy is raging over federal government legislation intended to help the fossil fuel

labour force transition to a greener economy, but union and community leaders are warning politicization of the Just Transition bill obscures the needs of workers. Prime

Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government is expected to table its long-awaited workforce transition bill this spring, ahead of economic changes expected as they pursue

ambitious goals to slash climate-warming emissions. The government of Alberta, Canada's main crude-producing province, says the legislation will dismantle the oil and gas

industry that makes up 5% of Canada's GDP. "When I hear the words "Just Transition" it signals eliminating jobs and for Alberta, that is a non-starter!" Alberta's

Conservative Premier Danielle Smith wrote on Twitter last week. The oil and gas sector employs around 185,000 workers, making the bill a hot topic in Alberta ahead a

provincial election in May. Smith is using the threat of job losses to attack Trudeau and rally her conservative base, although she has been criticised for misinterpreting how

many jobs may be at risk. The Trudeau government is trying to soothe concerns about the bill, first promised in 2019. A government source familiar with the file, who is not

authorized to speak publicly, said the legislation will be about principles to guide decisions and creating jobs. Trudeau told Reuters in a recent interview that the sooner

Alberta's "political class" understood the future is not to be feared, the better.