Au­di­tor stonewalled on fos­sil fuel sub­si­dies

Cape Breton Post - - Business -

OT­TAWA — The au­di­tor gen­eral says it couldn’t get the in­for­ma­tion it needed from Ot­tawa to de­ter­mine whether the govern­ment is meet­ing its com­mit­ments to phase out in­ef­fi­cient fos­sil fuel sub­si­dies.

In his spring re­port, au­di­tor gen­eral Michael Fer­gu­son says his of­fice has pitched a los­ing bat­tle with the fed­eral De­part­ment of Fi­nance to gain ac­cess to the in­for­ma­tion re­quired to fully ex­am­ine the govern­ment’s ac­tions on cli­mate change. While the re­port notes En­vi­ron­ment and Cli­mate Change Canada has a plan to sup­port the com­mit­ments Canada made at a G20 sum­mit in 2009, it says there’s no way of know­ing whether Fi­nance has done the work needed to sup­port that plan. Au­di­tors say Fi­nance re­fused to pro­vide doc­u­ments they re­quested, cit­ing cab­i­net con­fi­dence.

Their re­port con­cludes that, while six sub­si­dies to fos­sil fuel pro­duc­ers have been re­formed through leg­is­la­tion, other tax mea­sures have not changed.

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