Natural gas and oil are pillars of the Canadian economy. We’re talking 500,000 plus jobs for Canadians; $8 billion a year in revenues for various levels of government; billions in private investment every year that drive economic growth in every part of the country. Yet critics of the industry like to suggest the industry is heavily subsidized.
A recent report by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) went so far as to suggest Canadian oil and natural gas producers have received $16 billion in subsidies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in a blog post titled “Digging for Fossil Fuel Subsidies,” the Canada’s Energy Citizens network digs into the IISD report numbers. They found that among the things IISD considers a ‘subsidy’ include $1.9 billion the Ontario government has designated for highway and bridge replacements as part of Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19’.
The blog points out the absurdity of identifying public road improvements designed to put people back to work and that benefit all drivers as somehow a direct subsidy to oil and natural gas producers.