For Immediate Release: May 16, 2017
Statement by Environmental Defence’s Dale Marshall on the federal Finance Department’s refusal to release all requested fossil fuel subsidy information to the Auditor General
Ottawa, ON – Canadians should be alarmed that the federal government is withholding important information from the Auditor General about subsidies the Canadian government gives to oil and gas companies.
Denying the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development and the Auditor General access to this information means that Canadians are in the dark about the degree to which the Canadian government is propping up oil and gas companies. It also provides a glimpse into why the Canadian government has made little progress on eliminating fossil fuel subsidies.
The commitment to phase out subsidies to coal, oil, and gas companies was made back in 2009. And yet, according to recent estimates, the federal government still provides more than $1 billion in subsidies every year, with an equivalent amount provided by provinces. The Auditor General, with the documents he could obtain, determined that the federal government did not define what the commitment to phase out fossil fuel subsidies meant, and did not have a plan or timeline to meet it.
While the federal Finance Department withholds fossil fuel subsidies information from Canada’s Auditor General, other G20 countries are being much more transparent about their subsidies. The U.S. and China have even opened their books to each other. The secrecy of Canada’s Finance Department is extremely concerning, and undermines our democracy.
About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.
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