The Sierra Club Canada Foundation is calling on the federal government not to give more money to the oil industry in Newfoundland and Labrador on top of the $75 million the industry received last week. Based on media reports it appears the industry is lobbying Ottawa hard for even more dollars.
"The federal government should not be giving taxpayers' money to an industry which has a declining future and is jeopardizing Canada's climate targets, " says Gretchen Fitzgerald, National Programs Director of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation, "If further federal funding is to go to Newfoundland, it should be directed toward goals for which there is broad societal consensus and which will maximize the jobs and benefits for Newfoundlanders."
"Now is a moment for reflection and making change for the better. It's time to get off the oil price roller coaster and deal with the climate crisis as part Newfoundland and Labrador's recovery," according to Fitzgerald. "For instance, federal funding could support energy efficiency measures for individuals, industry, and municipalities that will help people facing a 75% increase on their electricity bills. This would keep money in people's pockets and put people to work across the province."
"Enough is enough. The federal government has already pledged $75 million to Newfoundland and Labrador's oil industry for methane emission reductions, even though under the pollutor pays principle the oil industry should be responsible for this pollution," states Fitzgerald. "More subsidies to one of the wealthiest, most polluting industries in the world is unacceptable."
Submissions from Sierra Club Canada Foundation to the regional assessment of exploratory drilling performed off Eastern Newfoundland show that planned exploration alone will put Newfoundland's GHG targets out of reach. The rapid expansion of the province's offshore oil and gas industry is out of step with Canada and global initiatives to decarbonize and jeopordizes ocean conservation objectives.