In Harper Budget, Big Oil Gets Subsidized While Environmental Monitoring Is Gutted

Cameron Fenton from the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition developed this helpful diagram to illustrate the dramatic way the Harper government is shifting taxpayer’s money. In the upside-down world of our current federal government, funding is slashed to programs that benefit all Canadians, like environmental monitoring. Instead, this government prefers to keep padding the pockets of their corporate pals, and to carry on a concerted campaign to turn Canada’s criminal justice system into a clone of  the dysfunctional America one by increasing spending on jails by over $500 million. This, at a time when statistics show the Canadian crime rate is dropping, and after this government cut funding to rehabilitative programs like prison farms.

Here’s Cameron’s diagram, reposted with permission. Take a good look at it, fellow Canadians. This is our future if we continue to have Harper as our Prime Minister:

Cameron put it this way in his article on Media Co-op:

In early March 2011, the federal government of Canada announced that it would be cutting over $10 billion dollars in spending in the upcoming 2011 annual budget. This includes massive cuts to environmental monitoring bodies like Environment Canada and Natural Resources Canada. Also included in these cuts is a $2.6 billion cut to employment insurance recipients.

At the same time, spending for the national security apparatus is ballooning, with the military expenditures projected to cross the $20 billion mark this year. The March announcement also included a 10% increase in spending across the board for public safety departments and national security agencies, building on the $7.9 billion forecast to be spent last year. This includes a 21%, or $521.6, million increase in spending on prisons and a 14%, or $227 million, increase in spending at Canadian Border Services.

All the while, the government is also giving away $1.4 billion each year to oil and gas companies, the majority of which goes directly into the Alberta tar sands.

Check out this new video from Citizens Climate Lobby (Toronto) on the same topic:


More links:

Info-graphic: Parts per million: Big Oil Gets Subsidized While Environmental Monitoring is Gutted

Citizens Climate Lobby: Canada

Climate Action Network Canada: End Fossil Fuel Tax Breaks

Canada’s Military Spending Highest Since World War II

0 thoughts on “In Harper Budget, Big Oil Gets Subsidized While Environmental Monitoring Is Gutted”

  1. As a graduate of RMC having served in the military, I agree with the CoC letter and have sent it, edited, including my MP John Baird in a later submission. I urge all of you to do similarly.

    Urgent Action Items
    Sign an open letter to Prime Minister Harper and Finance Minister Flaherty urging them to end fossil fuel tax breaks:

    Dear Prime Minister, Honourable Peter Kent and Opposition Leaders,

    I am dismayed by recent news that there is a planned $222-million or 20% reduction in spending at Environment Canada.

    This decision further widens that gap between spending on the environment and climate change and defence. In 2010 to 2011, Environment Canada’s program activities amount to just over 1 billion dollars while National Defence is over 20 billion. As a graduate of RMC who served in the military but with a science background and a career in public safety and emergency response, I regard the theft of environmental funding diverted to the fossil fuel industries as criminally irresponsible, threatening our future much more than participation in a flawed Afghanistan campaign.

    This decision is out of step with the views of Canadians.

    According to recent Environics poll, 71% of Canadians strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement, “money spent on wars and the military would all be better spent on efforts that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the impacts of climate change.”[1]

    Climate change is unfolding even faster than previously predicted. World events ranging from devastating floods in Pakistan, severe wildfires in Russia, mudslides in China, droughts in the Sahel and Niger, and an 87 square-kilometre chunk of ice breaking off from Greenland are all consistent with patterns that climate scientists have been warning us of.

    Urgent action is needed. This requires the Canadian government to invest in effective programs and policies that lead to real emission reductions in our country, encourage people to live within environmental means and starts the transition to sustainable energy production and consumption.

    The Canadian government is already falling behind. Analysis prepared by the Pembina Institute and Environment Northeast based on the 2010 federal budget and the latest U.S. Congressional Budget Request indicates that the U.S. outspends Canada per capita 8 to 1 on renewable energy, energy efficiency and public transit.

    With a potential federal election on the horizon, this decision has further compelled me to speak with my friends, colleagues and neighbours about this poor decision and the ongoing failure of the Canadian government to take effective action on climate change.


    Alan P. Burke, B.Sc. (Math & Physics), RMC
    RMC 1966, #6894


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