The Guardian (Charlottetown)



Unless some new economic tool is devised to write off government debt, the deficits being incurred by all levels of government in Canada in response to COVID-19 will have to be repaid. Politician­s are counting on future economic growth to reduce the debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio to insignific­ance, as was the case after the Second World War.

But if we do not use our present emergency spending to transition to a green economy, aside from the environmen­tal consequenc­es, Canada will be left at a competitiv­e disadvanta­ge in a world moving away from fossil fuels. In times of change, sticking with the past is not a recipe for future success.

The signals coming out of Ottawa are not encouragin­g. During the pandemic, the fossil fuel industry has benefitted from over $11 billion in new subsidies, compared with $220 million for clean energy (350.0rg).

Meanwhile, Jonathan Wilkinson, the federal minister of the environmen­t, seems content to wash his hands of responsibi­lity to review a proposal that will allow Alberta’s largest coal mine to near double in size.

As we saddle our children and grandchild­ren with massive debt, we could at least have the decency to leave them a modern economy relevant to global efforts to avoid climate catastroph­e.

Michael Pagé, Montague

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