NDP Critic for Climate Change and Environment, Laurel Collins, made the following statement:
"Canada is facing the worst wildfire season on record, and it's only expected to get worse. People are losing their homes, their livelihoods and even their lives. And while Canadians are struggling with the devastating impacts of climate disasters and the rising cost of living, big oil CEOs are getting richer than ever. Canadians are expecting their government to take stronger actions to tackle the climate emergency.
The NDP made the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies a priority in the Confidence and Supply Agreement with the Liberals because we knew we couldn’t trust them to act on their own. Time and time again they have shown that they side with big oil and their rich CEOs instead of taking meaningful action to help mitigate the harm of the worsening climate crisis. Under Justin Trudeau, Canada has provided more public financing for fossil fuels than any other G20 country— and it had to stop. This is not a record Canadians are proud of and New Democrats knew that we had to demand more.
Without the NDP at the table, this announcement would not have happened. The framework would have included more loopholes and leave out too many subsidies to big oil. Also, the Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance tax break for big oil would have been extended, which would have resulted in a significant amount of taxpayer money continuing to go to profitable oil companies. While we know that we had to fight like hell to get the Liberals where they are today, it is clear that this announcement doesn’t meet the urgency of the moment when climate disasters are putting everything we value at risk.
This important issue shows how dramatically different the Liberals and the NDP truly are. While the Liberals are ready to give big oil an additional $12 billion for technologies like carbon capture storage when they have already made record profits this year, New Democrats believe that we should force those big companies to be more responsible for our environment and use the profits they made off the backs’ of Canadians to make those investments.
While the Liberals’ half measures and climate action delay are extremely frustrating, our environment and Canadians need us to keep fighting. We have been using all the tools we have to force the Liberals to take actions that they wouldn’t clearly have taken otherwise. The NDP will keep pushing for the immediate elimination of specific fossil fuel subsidies that Liberals left out - like the exploration and development expense deductions for oil and gas - and for a plan to end public financing of the fossil fuel sector – the biggest bulk of the subsidies - by the end of this year.
There is no time to waste and no more excuses for delay. We will keep fighting to put an end to fossil fuel subsidies once and for all."