Auditor stonewalled on fossil fuel subsidies
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.