Are Canadian governments giving away the country's fossil energy resources? It seems our energy producers, always ready with political cash to throw around (remember Christy Clark?), are getting something of a free ride.
Not only are Canadian governments lavishing billions in direct and indirect subsidies on these largely foreign fossil energy giants, these same energy giants are giving us a small fraction of what they remit per barrel to other countries, places such as Indonesia or Nigeria or the Ivory Coast or even Britain.
The low rate that oil companies pay in Canada represents billions of dollars in potential revenue lost, which an industry expert who looked at the data says is a worrying sign that the country may be “a kind of tax haven for our own companies.”
“I think it will come as a surprise to most Canadians, including a lot of politicians, that Canada is giving oil companies a cut-rate deal relative to other countries,” said Keith Stewart, an energy analyst with Greenpeace.
Companies like Chevron Canada paid almost three times as much to Nigeria and almost seven times as much to Indonesia as it did to Canadian, provincial and municipal governments.
Chevron used to run its Nigeria and Indonesia projects out of the U.S., but after allegations that they evaded billions in taxes, their operations were moved to Canada.
According to data collected by the Guardian, Suncor also paid six times more taxes to the UK, and Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL) paid almost four times more to Ivory Coast.
To rub salt into our wounds, in 2016 the IMF calculated that Canada's direct and indirect subsidies to the fossil energy giants were a staggering 46 billion dollars a year.
Trudeau has, of course, promised to eliminate direct subsidies (the 1.4 billion figure) by 2025 which, naturally, will be long after he's gone.