After a year of war and uncertainty sent global energy prices (and the fossil fuel industry’s profits) through the roof, pressure is growing for the Trudeau government to introduce an oil and gas Windfall Profits Tax. So far, Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault has dismissed the idea, but there’s actually plenty of precedent for it — both at home and abroad.
The Liberals are currently moving forward with a windfall tax on unexpected profits that banks and life insurers made during the pandemic. Why not apply the same logic to the fossil fuel industry and invest the revenue in clean energy and green job creation?
The European Union just passed its own Windfall Profits Tax on oil and gas firms. They’re using it to provide immediate relief for everyday people struggling with skyrocketing energy prices and invest in clean energy. As the European Commission's vice-president, Frans Timmermans, explained, “The era of cheap fossil fuels is over. And the faster we move to cheap, clean and homegrown renewables, the sooner we will be immune to Russia's energy blackmail.”
Trudeau and Guilbeault claim to be climate leaders. It’s time for them to act like it. That’s why I’ve joined 350 Canada’s #TaxBigOil campaign along with thousands of people across the country. You can learn more about the campaign at 350.org/TaxBigOil.
Irina Rus, Burnaby