By Robin Edger
Executive Director and CEO, CAPE
Yesterday, CAPE signed on to a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet, advocating that public funds not be given to oil and gas companies. The letter comes from a coalition of environmental, health, labour, and social justice groups, representing 1.3 million Canadians.
We cannot have the current public health crisis surrounding COVID-19 used as an excuse for a massive transfer of public funds to the very industry that is causing the next one. We need to ensure that in this challenging time, funds go directly to helping Canadians and into measures that protect our health – both now, and in the future.
I was interviewed about this issue by The Canadian Press. Here’s what I had to say in the resulting article which also ran in today’s Globe and Mail:
Why don’t we just cut out the middleman? If our concern is the workers, we should just support the workers directly. We have oil and gas wells that need to be cleaned up. We have industries with real futures that we need workers to be trained into.
This is a crucial tipping point, and climate change must factor into all our decision making.
The fossil fuel industry is counting on Canadians being too occupied coping with an ongoing health crisis to challenge this. We know you’ve got a lot on your plate right now, and everyone is feeling the impact of this pandemic. However, many key funding decisions are being made at this time, and we cannot let them simply pass. That’s why we’re standing up for the health and well being of all Canadians.