The Canadian government is ready to help energy companies survive the crude oil collapse during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Canada's Natural Resources Minister Seamus O'Regan.

“We have to make sure that the survivors, survive. We have to make sure that an industry that we have spent decades building now to the point we are the fourth largest producer of oil in the world, we have to make sure that that remains whole,” O'Regan said in an interview on Tuesday.

“We have to make sure that [the energy] industry has a solid future to look forward to ... [and is] more competitive than it was going in.”

O’Regan’s comments come after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement on Friday, in which he outlined a $2.45 billion aid package for workers in the energy sector along with new liquidity measures for companies under pressure.

O’Regan explained that the government will continue to look for ways to support small and medium-sized businesses and that there’s no limit on aid measures that could be dispersed amid the current pandemic.

“This is demand driven. We will be talking to small and medium-sized enterprises, the bulk of these seem to be medium-sized, about what their needs are and then we’ll be ready to meet them.” O'Regan said.