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Free pass for foreign oil costs taxpayers billions

March 14, 2018
Free pass for foreign oil costs taxpayers billions

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) released documents obtained from the federal government through Access to Information that show foreign oil is getting a free emissions pass from the federal government – one that is costing taxpayers billions of dollars.

In August 2017, the federal government decided to change the rules halfway through the Energy East pipeline review by requiring the project to go through an “upstream and downstream emissions review.” TransCanada cancelled the project soon after the federal announcement.

The CTF then filed Access to Information requests with the federal government, and has discovered that foreign oil imported into Canada will not be subjected to a similar review.

“Ottawa is holding Canadian oil to a higher standard than foreign oil that is imported to Canada,” said CTF Alberta Director Colin Craig. “The situation is insane. By putting up roadblocks in front of Canadian oil companies, governments are literally losing out on billions in lost tax revenues.”

A 2014 report by the Canadian Energy Research Institute noted the Energy East project would have contributed $7.6 billion in tax revenues, including $3.5 billion in federal revenues – money that could have been used to help pay for government services or pay down debt.

“The rest of the world is laughing at us,” added Craig. “Canada has the third largest oil reserves in the world and yet we’re spending billions each year on importing oil. Then, when someone tries to build a pipeline to eastern Canada to reduce reliance on foreign oil, the federal government puts up a roadblock. It’s crazy.”

The following are links to Access to Information responses from federal departments about “upstream and downstream” emissions reviews for foreign oil:

Environment and Climate Change Canada – click here
Global Affairs Canada – click here
Natural Resources Canada – click here
Transport Canada – click here

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