Creative protests part of a growing call for a Windfall Profits Tax on Canada’s fossil fuel sector
Ottawa – Earlier today, officials from the fictional “Ministry of Just Transition” delivered giant invoices to fossil fuel companies and lobbyists at corporate offices across Canada. The creative protests come a day after a new Parliamentary Budget Office report revealed that extreme weather is already costing Canada’s economy tens of billions each year and as world leaders gather at the COP 27 climate summit in Egypt.
Participants in today’s actions called on Prime Minister Trudeau and Environment and Climate Change Minister Guilbeault to introduce an oil and gas Windfall Profits Tax to fund a just transition to clean energy.
“Canadian fossil fuel companies tripled their profits this year, while everyday people struggled under soaring energy prices and worsening climate disasters,” said Chris Gusen, Senior Digital Specialist with 350.org. “Big Oil created the climate crisis. They should pay the cost of cleaning it up and building the clean energy future we need. We need a Windfall Profits Tax to make that happen.”
In Ottawa, the “Ministry of Just Transition” visited the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), an office that is just steps from Parliament Hill, with an invoice for $6.8 billion to fund climate solutions like a Coastal Housing Repair Fund, air conditioning units for one million low-income households, electrifying Canada’s school bus fleet, and more. Participants spoke about CAPP’s decades-long effort to block the Canadian government from taking meaningful climate action. These lobbying efforts continue today, including against measures like a Windfall Profits Tax and a Just Transition Act.
“There’s no way we’ll meet our climate goals if Trudeau keeps doing Big Oil’s bidding,” said Rolly Montpellier, a member of the 350.org chapter in Ottawa. “As world leaders meet at COP 27, Trudeau can prove he’s serious about climate action by answering the UN’s call for an oil and gas Windfall Profits Tax.”
In St. John’s, community members delivered an invoice to ExxonMobil for the immense damage left in the wake of post-tropical storm Fiona.
“We’re on the doorsteps of ExxonMobil, one of the biggest and most polluting companies in the world, to demand they pay their share for the climate chaos they are fuelling,” said local organizer Robert Lehman. “Fiona devastated our region, but make no mistake, it was not a surprise. Big Oil has known for decades the damage climate change would bring, and instead of transitioning to renewable energy sources, they doubled down on misinformation about the causes of climate change so they could continue drilling, digging, and raking in immense profits. ExxonMobil has already made over $44 billion dollars in 2022. It’s time for them to pay up.”
On Friday, residents in Montréal will send a similar message, pointing to the increasing human health and economic toll that heat waves and changing weather conditions are having in Québec and around the world.
“We can’t tackle the climate crisis without rapidly phasing out fossil fuels,” said Katherine Lund who is organizing the action with 350 Montréal. “COP27 is an opportunity for Canada to finally lead on Loss and Damage reparations. A Windfall Profits Tax is a common-sense way to make the fossil fuel industry pay their fair share of Canada’s enormous debt to the world and fund a Just Transition to 100% clean energy.”