Subsidies for McKenzie Valley Pipeline

The unmitigated gall of the fossil fuel companies knows no end.  The Toronto Star reports yesterday that Imperial Oil is going to be requesting tax subsidies to support their pipeline.  The regime of subsidizing fossil fuels has to end.  The Bruce Peninsula Environment Group  wrote a letter to the Finance Minister on this topic.  I hope you do likewise.

Honourable Jim Flaherty

Minister of Finance

House of Commons,

Ottawa, ON


Dear Minister,

The Bruce Peninsula Environment Group is an organization dedicated to moving our region toward a sustainable future.  We write this letter on behalf of our 155 members.

We are writing to request that future budgets reduce and remove tax subsidies currently in place for fossil fuel companies.  As you know, when a tax advantage is conferred on one sector, the tax burden must be borne by other sectors, which increases the tax burden on hard working Canadians.

In the case of our tax subsidies for fossil fuels, it is even worse.  We provide tax subsidies, which lowers their cost, in order to produce fossil fuels for export markets.  In other words, we increase taxes on other sectors so that we can sell our fossil fuels for less in world and continental markets.  Our tax subsidy dollars don’t even stay in Canada.  With evidence of climate change increasing every day, providing subsidies to lower the cost of fossil fuels is the opposite of what Federal tax policy should do.

We are especially incensed by recent reports that Imperial Oil is going to be requesting tax subsidies for the McKenzie Valley pipeline project.  Imperial Oil, a subsidiary of the world’s most profitable company, is asking ordinary Canadians to pay more in taxes so they can produce fossil fuels to sell at a lower price in export markets.  Just say no.  Imperial Oil should do like any normal company in their situation:  look for ways to cut costs, look for ways to increase prices, or look for partners to share risks and rewards if they don’t have the stomach for it.  But don’t ask taxpayers to pay.

The government should be making an unlevel playing field, in favour of conservation and renewable energy.  Today, the opposite is true.  And the subsidies to fossil fuel production must never be expanded, and should be phased out in an orderly way.

Yours Truly,


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