Citizen Action Monitor

Send Harper a message — Don’t bail out big oil — Support Leadnow’s call to action

Help Harper decide what to do about an oil boom gone bust

No 1246 Posted by fw, February 1, 2015

“The Harper Conservatives are under huge pressure to bail-out giant oil companies and show a balanced budget. Something’s gotta give – and it could be major cuts to services that people rely on. With the budget coming soon, and the parties releasing their platforms in an election year, this is the moment to speak out for a better future.”Jamie Biggar, leadnow.ca

In an email, Jamie Biggar is calling on leadnow.ca supports to get behind the push to nudge Stephen Harper in the right direction. Fat chance, you may be thinking. Nevertheless, staying silent will simply reinforce Harper’s view that Canadians don’t care what he does.

Read the following slightly revised email from Jamie, then show Harper that you’re responsibly informed, that you do care. Click on the link below to tell him not to bail out big oil – again.

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Tell Harper: don’t bail out big oil, email from Jamie Biggar, leadnow.ca, January 31, 2014

Dear Frank

Here’s the question on everyone’s lips: as the oil boom goes bust again, what’s Stephen Harper going to do about it? 

Our government has a habit of propping up giant oil companies with generous subsidies and cushy tax cuts — a habit that has cost Canada billions of dollars every year. We’re talking big money – in 2011, the International Monetary Fund pegged Canada’s oil subsidies and tax breaks at $34 billion per year.

As oil craters again, people across Canada are calling for a new way forward: a stronger, cleaner economy, support for workers, and funding for critical services. But Harper’s habits die hard – and you can be sure that giant oil companies are lobbying hard to get a bailout in the next budget.

The Harper Conservatives are under huge pressure to bail-out giant oil companies and show a balanced budget. Something’s gotta give – and it could be major cuts to services that people rely on. With the budget coming soon, and the parties releasing their platforms in an election year, this is the moment to speak out for a better future.

Tell our political leaders: don’t bail out giant oil companies! Let’s end cushy tax breaks and subsides for oil companies, and invest in a clean energy economy.

Think about it this way: estimates suggest the Harper government has gifted billions in tax breaks and subsidies for fossil fuel industry. Now imagine if that same money was spent on renewable energy power sources — or re-training oil industry workers for the jobs of the future.

Reality is, the clean energy industry already employs more Canadians than the fossil fuel industry – and right now, the oilsands brings in just 2% of Canada’s GDP. [Sources: Huffington Post Canada and Globe and Mail]

Don’t get us wrong. Government investments in strategic industries, and the occasional bail-out, can make sense with the right conditions. But why give billions to the most destructive group of companies on Earth, especially when their boom always goes bust?

Economists are saying that this a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to fix bad energy policy. This could be game-changing, but we have to send a clear message to political parties now.

Click here to tell Stephen Harper and our political leaders: don’t bail out big oil! End subsidies for corporate giants and invest in a clean energy economy:

In this critical moment, let’s make our message clear to Canada’s leaders: Canadians expect more, and expect better, of our government. We expect them to:

  1. Ensure federal funding is going towards our future, not our past. Harper’s government has spent nine long years giving subsidies and cushy tax breaks to global oil companies. It’s time to turn the page.
  2. Prioritize funding for Canadians, not giant oil companies. We know our government can’t afford to fund everything – and when there’s a choice between corporate welfare for big oil companies or services that will directly benefit Canadians, we pick the latter.
  3. Invest in a strong clean energy economy. If anything has become clear over the last few months, it’s that Canada can’t afford to have all our eggs in the risky oil basket. We need an economy that’s built around resources that are abundant, safe, and clean – and will ensure a safe environment and climate for our kids. Let’s invest now, and support workers to make the transition.

With the oil price on the slide and a budget and election fast approaching, we could have a game-changing moment on our hands for both government and business – if we play our cards right. Right now, Joe Oliver and Stephen Harper are deciding what to fund – and what not to fund – in the 2015 budget. Let’s make the choice easy for them.

Thanks for all you do,
Jamie, Kelly and Rodrigo on behalf of the Leadnow.ca team

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