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Rachel Notley responds to Ottawa's assistance package to ailing energy industry

Last Updated Dec 19, 2018 at 6:37 am MST

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is not satisfied after the Trudeau government announced it is giving 1.6 billion dollars to the oilpatch.

But she says at least Ottawa recognizes there is a problem.

Notley calls the money a good first step, but says the province still needs pipelines and other ways to ship its oil.

“It’s so cut and paste that it talks support developing export markets. Well, I hate to break it to you, but the whole world wants our product. The issue is not finding a market for our product. The issue is getting our product to that market,” she said Tuesday. “We don’t need help finding more markets. We need help moving our product, and I don’t know if we could’ve been much more clear than that.”

And she is disappointed the package doesn’t include money for more rail tanker cars that Alberta wants to buy.

Ottawa is spending the dollars to help struggling energy companies as Alberta grapples with bargain basement oil prices.

One-billion dollars will come through Export Development Canada for capital investments and the purchase of new technology.

READ MORE: Government’s tight grasp on Alberta oil: A short(ish) history

Another 500-million will be available through the Business Development Bank of Canada to help smaller companies.

Ottawa’s plan to help the energy industry deal with the downturn in oil prices is also getting a lukewarm response from the business sector.

The Calgary Chamber of Commerce says Ottawa’s announcement is encouraging, but it won’t provide the stability the industry needs.