What the debate between climate change and economy means for Canada's oilpatch

As Canada tries to balance its oil-reliant economy with its environmental goals, we look at what the polarizing debate means for the future of the country's oilpatch.

CBC’s Allison Dempster and Erin Collins analyze the future of the energy industry

The CBC's Allison Dempster and Erin Collins explore what the future holds for Canada's oilpatch, as the country faces pressure to fight climate change. (Reuters)

As the Canadian government continues to make policy changes in order to meet its international climate change targets, the future of the country's oil and gas sector remains unknown.   

In recent years, Alberta oil producers have been struggling with low crude prices and have seen declining investment in the province's oilpatch, which once shouldered a large swath of the country's economy.

As part of the Labour Day holiday special, The Patch 2030, CBC's Allison Dempster and Erin Collins explore the polarizing debate between the pressure to fight climate change and the future of Canada's oil and gas industry by speaking to both environmental advocates and energy producers.

"I think we have to face the music," said Stan Schulmeister, the local reeve in Halkirk, Alta.

The central Alberta village has been at the centre of the transition to clean, renewable energy production. From mining coal, the oil and gas boom, to embracing wind power, Halkirk has seen many power shifts in the last century. 

"I would love another oil boom, but what are the chances of that," Schulmeister asked.

Still, many people rely on jobs in the oil industry and long for times past, when industry and employment were booming. The Patch 2030 analyzes the impact of the slowdown in the oil and gas sector and how Canada can compete successfully in global markets in the coming decades.