Canada's NDP

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June 22nd, 2023

NDP urges Liberal government to eliminate subsidies for big oil

OTTAWA— On Thursday, the NDP Critic for Environment and Climate Change, Laurel Collins, sent a letter to the Deputy Prime Minister and the Environment Minister urging them to immediately take actions to honour their commitment to phase out fossil fuel subsidies.

New Democrats have used their power to force the government to develop "a plan to phase-out public financing of the fossil fuel sector, including from Crown corporations’’ through the Supply and Confidence Agreement but, as expected, the Liberals are dragging their feet on taking meaningful action to stop handing out billions of dollars to profitable oil and gas companies.

“Canadians are increasingly concerned about the devastating impacts of wildfires, flooding and extreme weather events on their communities, their homes and their livelihoods. They want bold action to tackle the climate crisis,” Collins wrote. “Ending public handouts to profitable oil and gas companies and CEOs, and reinvesting those funds in building a clean energy economy and good-paying sustainable jobs for workers is the very least that Canadians should be able to expect.”

In the past few years, Canada has provided more public financing for fossil fuels than any other G20 country and the Liberal’s climate record has been amongst the worst in the G7.

Collins’ letter explicitly urges the Liberals to finalize and publish a framework to eliminate domestic fossil fuel subsidies. In addition to the framework, the NDP calls for immediately eliminating additional existing fossil fuel subsidies that could free up resources for climate action such as the Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance for the fossil fuel sector— a tax break that oil and gas lobbyists have pushed for extending.

In a poll released Wednesday, one in four Canadians said that have been impacted by wildfires this year. Given the irrefutable proof that urgent action is needed, Collins says the Liberals needs to honour their commitment and be upfront with Canadians about their timelines immediately.

“By sending this letter to the government, we’re making it clear to the government: here’s exactly what we expect,” said Collins. “For eight years, the Liberals have been making promise after promise about the environment and they’re missed every single target they set. All the while Canadians have seen their government dolling out a fortune to massive, profitable oil and gas companies. The good will for them to say ‘trust us’ and for people to listen is all used up.

New Democrats are going to hold them accountable every step of the way. We’re not going to let them find loopholes to keep lining the pockets of big oil and gas companies’ ultra-wealthy CEOs, or play semantic games that hurt Canadians’ future. There’s just too much at stake for workers, families and their communities.”