Calgary-based oil and gas company Suncor says it plans to reduce its workforce by 10-15% in the next year-and-a-half, a loss of approximately 2,000 positions.
The company has said that early retirements and voluntary severance packages could account for a significant portion of the reduction. The first wave of cuts will happen within the next 6 months.
Suncor is the third major energy company to announce cuts in recent weeks, with Shell and Marathon Oil both making similar announcements.
Meanwhile, politicians such as former Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet were quite vocal regarding the downturn. Earlier in 2020, Elizabeth May optimistically vocalized that “oil is dead” and that the sector should "not be assisted out of the current downturn". Around the same time, Blanchet said that Alberta’s economy was “condemned” and that there was little to no path to recovery for the sector.
In response to the above comments, Jason Kenney accused the federal leaders of poor leadership.
“I just think it’s deeply regrettable that we would see national political leaders piling on Albertans and energy workers at a time of great trial for us,” said Kenney.
Reports from the Conference Board of Canada, Alberta’s GDP is estimated to fall by 11.3% this year.
2020 has been a tough year for Canadian oil and gas. Plunging oil prices thanks to a price war among OPEC nations in March was followed by a decrease in worldwide demand at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.