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Why give a damn about an emissions cap?

The rising costs of groceries, rent, gas, and life in general are making it hard or impossible to make ends meet. The affordable housing shortage and crumbling health care system aren’t helping, either.

So why am I asking you to give a damn about a new federal emissions cap on greenhouse gases? 

Well, for starters, public money that should be going toward affordable housing, health care, food, and energy security is instead being funneled to the fossil fuel industry, even as oil and gas companies rake in more profits than ever before.

“Canadian fossil fuel producers receive more public financial support than any others in the developed world, according to a new analysis. And compared to subsidies for oil, gas and coal, renewable energy gets less government help in Canada than in any other G20 country.” —Canada leads G20 in financing fossil fuels, lags in renewables funding, report says | CBC News

We’re talking billions of taxpayer dollars going to the oil and gas industry each year in the form of subsidies. Depending on how one defines “subsidy,” those subsidies were estimated to be either $4.5 billion, $18 billion, or $81 billion in 2020. Whether you choose the low-ball amount or the higher-end estimates, that’s a lot of taxpayer dollars—your tax dollars—that could be better spent elsewhere.

The oil and gas industry is the biggest carbon polluter in Canada. That means it’s the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions of any sector of the Canadian economy. Those planet-heating emissions are fueling the climate crisis. 

The only way to rein in oil and gas companies is to set a hard cap on carbon emissions, backed up by penalties they can’t ignore.  

Currently, the federal government is working on new regulations for an emissions cap, and the oil and gas lobby is doing everything it can to weaken the policy. It’s time to remind our elected leaders that they are accountable to us, the voters who elected them, not the oil and gas lobbyists who pull their strings. 

But we don’t have much time. The first draft of the emissions cap regulations is expected by early June. We need to get ahead of it and make sure our representatives in Ottawa know this is something we care about and will be watching closely.

We know it can be hard to find the time or motivation to give a damn. And we’re not promising any miracles here. But we’re tired of the oil and gas industry always getting its way—and our tax dollars, too. So let’s make sure our MPs know. 

Please take a moment to tell your MP to stand up to the oil and gas lobby and support a strong cap on emissions.

Check out our Emission Cap Explainer to learn more about how this cap will benefit you.

Tynette Deveaux
Atlantic Campaign Director

Explainer — Why an Emissions Cap?

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