Montréal, November 3rd 2023 - With the Canadian oil and gas industry recently announcing profits of $38 billion by 2022, environmental and citizens' groups gathered outside the offices of Canada's Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, to demand a series of measures to finally hold the fossil fuel sector to account for its part in the climate crisis.
More and more Canadian households are struggling to make ends meet, and the climate and biodiversity loss crises are causing increasingly costly damages. Meanwhile, the fossil fuel industry’s obscene profits are going straight into the pockets of their shareholders. Organizers are calling on the federal government to impose taxes on unfair fossil fuel profits, eliminate subsidies and project approvals, cap greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and ensure that industry does not unduly influence policy decisions. Governments must redirect financial resources towards renewable energies through all possible financial mechanisms, at local, national and global levels.
To this end, Bill C-50 on sustainable jobs and the regulations on capping GHG emissions from the fossil fuel sector must be published without further delay, and there must be no free ride for industry. What's more, for the groups who gathered today, funding for the transition must come from a tax on their profits, as it is not up to Canadian society to finance the transition of billionaire companies.
These demands were formulated through a playful theatrical performance depicting a world free of fossil fuels and looking towards a viable future for all. A world powered by clean renewable energies is both essential and feasible.
Katherine Lund, Spokesperson, 350 Montréal : "Today, on the International Day of Climate Action, citizens around the world are calling for a transition to clean, affordable renewable energy. Why is Canada so far behind? It's time to accelerate the transition."
Anne-Céline Guyon, Climate and Energy Analyst, Nature Québec : "At a time when Canadian households are struggling to make ends meet, these announcements of record profits by the oil and gas companies are nothing short of indecent. Especially since, by their own admission, the energy transition is not one of their priorities. The fossil fuel industry literally doesn't care about the public. Faced with this situation, some in the federal government seem to think that strong regulations to cap the sector's GHG emissions are optional. This is not the time to lower our climate policies and regulations, it's the time to raise them. Let's bring the fossil fuel industry to heel once and for all."
Andréanne Brazeau, Climate Policy Analyst, Équiterre :
"The climate crisis is having a huge impact on our society, whether it's the cost of living, our natural environments or our infrastructure - and it's only going to get worse over time. Canada must achieve carbon neutrality as quickly as possible to ensure a viable present and future for its population. Équiterre therefore calls on the government to be consistent in its climate action and to quickly adopt the Canada Sustainable Jobs Act to begin the necessary transformation of our economy and achieve the just transition."
Zachary Robert, Spokesperson, La planète s’invite au parlement : "More than 200 communities around the world are taking part in this month of action for climate justice. On the eve of COP28 in Dubai at the end of November, we need more ambition from Canada. Quebecers and Canadians expect concrete action from their governments."