Environmental Defence report on Canada’s financial support to oil and gas notes criminalization of Indigenous land defenders

Published by Brent Patterson on

Environmental Defence has just released this report PAYING POLLUTERS: Federal Financial Support to Oil and Gas in 2020.

That report highlights:

“In 2020, the federal government either announced or provided a minimum of nearly $18 billion to the oil and gas sector. This includes $3.28 billion in direct subsidy programs and $13.47 billion in public financing funneled to oil and gas companies primarily through a non-transparent crown corporation, Export Development Canada.”

Notably, it includes the costs of policing/criminalizing land defenders:

“A particularly egregious form of fossil fuel subsidy are investments made into policing Indigenous land defenders opposing fossil fuel infrastructure.

For example, over $13 million was spent last year on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to ‘protect’ the Coastal GasLink pipeline – which took the form of harassing Wet’suwet’en Nation community members who oppose the pipeline.

Canada has made commitments to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and has agreed to uphold the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Criminalizing peaceful land defenders is in contradiction with these commitments.

In January 2020, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination called upon Canada to halt construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline until the Wet’suwet’en people grant free, prior and informed consent to the project, and to cease the forced eviction of land defenders.”

And it references human rights concerns:

“EDC’s support to oil and gas includes support for projects that have been criticized for violating human rights at home and abroad, including the right of affected communities to free, prior and informed consent.

For instance, as mentioned above, in 2020 EDC approved a loan of up to $500 million for the Coastal GasLink Pipeline in British Columbia, a project opposed by hereditary leaders from all five clans of the Wet’suwet’en Nation.”

To read the full report by Environmental Defence, please click on PAYING POLLUTERS: Federal Financial Support to Oil and Gas in 2020.

We further note that Environmental Defence acknowledges Karen Hamilton of Above Ground for her input and peer review of this report. To hear Karen speak about the role Export Development Canada has played in supporting Canadian oil and gas operations in Colombia and the environmental and human rights implications of that support, please join this webinar on April 29 at 3:30 pm EDT.

Categories: News Updates


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