LETTER: Why are we subsidizing the wealthy oil companies?

Dear editor,

I really don’t get why we subsidize big oil with the equivalent of about $250 a household in Canada. Those subsidies are our federal and provincial tax dollars.

If I understand the numbers, that’s the equivalent of about $3,500 per tar sands worker. I haven’t looked at all the tar sands investors, but the two biggest, Suncor and Enbridge, reported net earnings of $4.5 billion and $2.9 billion respectively last year. If Trudeau and his gang really wanted to help Canadian families he could stop taking money from our pockets and giving it to big oil.

And what about jobs? There were about 10,000 new temporary foreign workers entered Alberta in 2017, and there doesn’t seem to be a readily available current total number. So whom are these supposed new jobs actually for?

Now Trudeau expects us to insure the viability of a pretty economically and environmentally sketchy pipeline project to the tune of another $500 to $600 per household in capital cost only. This for a company that had $160.7 million in profits in 2017 (Kinder Morgan Canada), and ended the year with no outstanding debt. How many Canadian families can say that? If this “agreement” with Kinder Morgan materializes, I’m betting we’ll end up on the hook for environmental liability as well. Who knows what that bill might be?

I thought we lived in a capitalist system where initiatives that aren’t economically viable die, and other initiatives take their place. Apparently not in Canada. It’s a pretty sad day when our federal government is willing to trample, as fast as it can, over the Constitution, taxpayers, First Nations and the environment to suck up to, with our tax dollars, a businesses sector that has a pretty abysmal environmental record, has a history of dumping Canadian workers for temporary foreign workers, has an iffy long term economic future and seems to be awash in money. But, getting clean water and adequate housing to reserves, or deal with poverty and homelessness, just can’t seem to get that done.

George Penfold


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