It is time to end all fossil fuel subsides. According to the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Ontario provided fossil fuel subsidies to the tune of $628 million in 2016. Suncor itself reports that it received nearly $20 million in funding from the Ontario government in the previous fiscal year.
Suncor, the largest tar sands producer in the country, is lobbying the Ontario government on fossil fuel subsidies, even as it continues to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars in profits. It’s all right there in black and white, on the Ontario Lobbyist Registry: lobbyists from Suncor have been hard at work meeting with Ontario Cabinet Ministers for the last year. Their registration includes an apparent attempt to influence the government’s position on fossil fuel subsidies, including what a ban on the subsidies might look like.
The staying power of fossil fuel subsidies is evidence of the industry’s outsized influence on government decisions. The industry’s reach clearly extends to the Ontario government, as shown by Canada’s largest tar sands producer’s ongoing lobbying.
If Ontario and Canada are serious about climate action, it’s time to stand up to oil industry lobbyists and eliminate subsidies for polluters. Giant tar sands producers like Suncor should not be receiving government handouts.