The Council of Canadians protested outside the G7 finance ministers summit in Whistler last weekend. Just days earlier Finance Minister Bill Morneau had announced the Trudeau government would spend $4.5 billion on buying the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
A new study just released by four organizations – the International Institute for Sustainable Development, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Overseas Development Institute, and Oil Change International – reveals disturbing information about G7 support for Big Oil and the fossil fuel industry as a whole.
The Narwhal reports, “The study found that G7 governments provide at least US$100 billion a year to support the production and consumption of oil, gas and coal, despite repeated pledges [over the past nine years] to end fossil fuel subsidies by 2025.”
Furthermore, the article adds, “Canada provides more government support for oil and gas companies [per capita] than any other G7 nation and is among the least transparent about fossil fuel subsidies.”
It highlights, “Export Development Canada, a crown corporation, provides financing to fossil fuel companies, including more than $10 billion in 2017, according to the report. The fossil fuel industry also has access to additional federal tax provisions and policies.” It is estimated that federal and provincial governments in Canada provide about Can$3.3 billion in subsidies a year to the oil and gas industry.
Adding to that now is the scandal of the buyout of the Kinder Morgan pipeline and tanker project, that if built, could be operational by 2020 and move 890,000 barrels of bitumen a day over a 50-year lifespan.
While the Trudeau government announced it would spend $4.5 billion on the project, the eventual price tag could be much higher. The National Observer has reported, “By the time the expansion is built, the price tag for nationalizing the existing assets and building the expansion will cost Canadians upwards of $15-$20 billion.”
Defending the $605 million price tag for the two-day G7 summit this coming Friday and Saturday, Trudeau has stated that it can be the perfect forum for the leadership that is required on issues such as the environment and healthy oceans.
That healthy oceans session isn’t likely to tackle the need to stop the offshore oil and gas drilling supported by Trudeau, US president Donald Trump, British prime minister Theresa May and the Italian government.
In January of this year, the Associated Press reported, “The Trump administration moved to vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans with a plan that would open up federal waters off the California coast for the first time in more than three decades.” And in February, the Trudeau government approved BP drilling offshore of Nova Scotia near Sable Island National Park Reserve and the Gully Marine Protected Area. The National Observer has reported, “The two ecosystems, home to a vast array of life including northern bottlenose whales, rare corals, and the famed wild horses of Sable Island, are vulnerable to a spill due to their proximity to the site.”
The Council of Canadians has five online petitions related to this G7 summit that we encourage you to sign:
1- Make this the last G7 summit (just launched!)
2- Offshore drilling not worth the risk (30,507 signatures)
3- No Kinder Morgan buyout (2,042 signatures)
4- Tell Trump he’s not welcome in Canada for the G7 summit (23,250 signatures)
5- Take the Boycott Nestle pledge (63,968 signatures)
The Council of Canadians will participate in these Stop G7 activities in Quebec City this week. We will also attempt to convey our concerns in La Malbaie.