Morneau will hold a media conference on June 2 at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre about the G7 finance ministers meeting.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Minister of International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau are co-hosting the G7 Finance and Development Ministerial meeting that started today and runs to June 2 in Whistler, British Columbia. The meeting will include G7 finance ministers, development ministers and central bank governors and feed into the G7 summit taking place June 8-9 in Charlevoix, Quebec.
While the US-imposed steel and aluminum tariffs Morneau has described as "absurd" will be a key issue, another absurd situation should also receive critical attention.
In September 2009, the G20 summit in Pittsburgh agreed to phase out fossil fuel subsidies over 'the medium term'. In October 2015, the Liberal Party of Canada election platform promised to "fulfill our G20 commitment and phase out subsidies for the fossil fuel industry over the medium-term." And in May 2016, the G7 summit in Japan pledged to end most fossil fuel subsidies by 2025.
And yet in May 2017, the National Post reported, "A 2016 study from four Canadian environmental groups found that federal and provincial governments still subsidize the oil and gas industry to the tune of $3.3 billion annually." The figure for G7 fossil fuel subsidies is a multiple of that number (the G20 total is about $71.8 billion a year).
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. By any measure, a massive multi-billion dollar public subsidy to facilitate a tar sands pipeline that could be in-service through to 2070 is a breaking of the G7, G20 and Liberal Party pledges.
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. That's because the $7.4 billion capital cost for the project estimated in February 2017 will likely exceed $9 billion by the time an up to date budget is prepared. Then there is $2.1 billion in financial assurances required for the land based spill risk and $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan for marine spill risk that Ottawa has already agreed to."
Now a No KM bailout & corporate rule! Noise demo w/ Bill Morneau at G7 protest is being organized on June 2 starting at 12 pm PT in Whistler.
The outreach for that protest highlights, "The bailout of Kinder Morgan is one example of the larger agenda of the G7 to promote corporate plunder while also protecting their profits. It also highlights a complete disregard for Indigenous lands and title, the climate, water and the health of all life on the planet."
The Canadian Press has reported, "The pre-selected, overarching themes for the Whistler meeting ... include finding ways to ensure economic growth benefits more people, as well as a push towards gender equality and the empowerment of women [and] feature joint sessions between G7 development and finance ministers with a goal of finding ways to increase support for poor nations - with help from the private sector - under a focus of girls’ education."
While the G7 finance and development ministers summit may talk about equality and empowerment, their spending is still squarely focused on Big Oil.