NDP Calls on Trudeau to End Fuel Subsidies and Invest in Clean Energy
May 23rd, 2018 - 4:36pm
Working as a kayak guide, I’ve travelled many of this coast's wild places, and am keeping my word, as an islander and as your MP, to stand up for the BC coast, our communities and for a clean energy future.
The Liberals are giving Texas pipeline company Kinder Morgan a blank cheque while dumping all the risks on Canadians. Rigged approval process, First Nations and local communities shut out, oil spill threats, science ignored, and now billions of taxpayer’s dollars on the line, it’s clear this pipeline should not be built.
Today, Canada’s NDP / Le NPD du Canada sent a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau calling on him to produce a concrete plan to end the fossil fuel subsidies and invest instead in programs that create clean energy jobs and reduce emissions:
Ottawa, May 23rd, 2018
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Dear Prime Minister,
We are writing to urge you to honour the commitment you made to Canadians to abolish fossil fuel subsidies by 2025. Your government made this commitment, along with other G7 member countries, in May 2017 and has reiterated this commitment on many subsequent occasions.
We are deeply concerned that your government has not taken any action to fulfil its commitment to eliminate the approximately $ 1.3 billion in taxpayer-funded subsidies that go to the fossil fuel industry every year. On the contrary, we’ve seen your government do the opposite, promising to massively increase subsidies.
In May last year, Canada’s Auditor General highlighted that your government had no plan to eliminate these financial supports for non-renewables. Your government had not even taken the first step of producing a complete list of grants to be eliminated or modified. The refusal to release the requested documentation to the Auditor General leaves Canadians with little assurance that you are taking your climate change commitments seriously.
To make matters worse, your government is now planning a large increase in these subsidies through an “indemnification” of the Texas-based oil company, Kinder Morgan and its shareholders to "eliminate financial risk" for their Trans Mountain Pipeline Project. A former TransCanada CEO said Kinder Morgan's financial exposure could be up to $10 billion. Your plan means that Kinder Morgan’s shareholders will be protected while Canadians bear all of the financial and environmental risks of this pipeline.
Canadians are overwhelmingly opposed to the current and proposed subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. Two-thirds of Canadians believe that fossil fuel companies should not get help from the government. But there is still time for your government to make this right.
That is why we are asking you to present, before the G7 meeting, a concrete action plan demonstrating how Canada intends to abolish fossil fuel subsidies by 2025 and invest those funds into creating clean energy jobs for today and tomorrow, and programs that help Canadians reduce their emissions.
We also ask that you to confirm that you will undertake a peer review process for the fossil fuel phase out as requested by the government of Argentina, before the G7 meeting on June 8th and 9th in the Charlevoix. Few G7 countries successfully did a peer review process that produced a transparent and public-facing document demonstrating their efforts to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. As the G7 President, you should seize this opportunity to lead by example and commit to this important accountability measure and encourage all G7 nations to commit to doing the same.
Additionally, we are calling on you to be transparent regarding the ‘indemnity’ that you are providing Kinder Morgan as well as the total liability. Canadians deserve to know what exactly they are on the hook before any deal is signed.
We often see you championing your government – on the world stage -- as a leader in the fight against climate change, including at your recent address to New York University graduates. But this promise is not reflected in your record at home.
Under your leadership, it is now apparent that Canada will not meet the goals set under the Paris Accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, your government will fail to meet the targets set by the previous conservative government, targets you derided as completely insufficient.
Mr Prime Minister, we urge you to make good on your commitments at home and abroad, and take the steps necessary to make Canada a true leader during the G7 and later on in the fight against climate change.
Leader of the New Democratic Party
Parliamentary Leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada
New Democratic Party of Canada Critic for Energy
NDP Critic for the Environment and Climate Change
Member of Parliament for Rosemont - La Petite-Patrie
NDP Finance critic and MP for Burnaby—New Westminster
NDP Natural Resources critic and MP for South Okanagan – West Kootenay
CC: The Honorable Catherine McKenna, the Honorable Bill Morneau, the Honorable Jim Carr.