Sask. NDP says oil well cleanup money could be better spent

The Saskatchewan NDP are speaking out after Premier Brad Wall said he's requested $156M from the federal government for an oil well cleanup project.

Opposition responds to premier's federal request for $156M to clean up orphaned wells

Sask. NDP responds to Brad Wall's request for $156M to clean up orphaned wells 1:26

The Saskatchewan NDP has other ideas about Brad Wall's request for federal money to clean up oil wells.  

Trent Wotherspoon, deputy leader of the provincial NDP, said using taxpayer money to fund oil companies has some value, but is a misplaced priority.

"We'd see greater economic value and greater value to all taxpayers to invest in projects that are important to an entire province," he said. 

On Monday, Wall said he had asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for $156 million to fund a program to accelerate oil well cleanups and create jobs.

The premier said his proposal would mean 1,200 direct and indirect jobs in the oil and gas industry at a time when the industry is struggling.  

Wotherspoon said oil companies already pay into a fund to clean up orphaned wells, and said the money would be better spent on infrastructure updates such as crumbling schools and highways. 

He also suggested spending it on training for unemployed oil workers to work in other industries. 

Wall is still waiting to hear back from Trudeau as to whether the funding will be granted.  

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