As Dogwood’s fundraising guy, I spend a lot of time crunching the numbers to make sure we can keep doing this important work. Our team knows the value of a dollar, and every single contribution from the B.C. public is precious to us.

I wish I could say the same for our provincial and federal governments.

My friend Seth Klein and his team at the Climate Emergency Unit published a really good video this week that got me thinking about just how much of our money is *still* going to oil and gas expansion in B.C. this year. 

Seth made the point that 100 per cent of the Site C dam’s electricity would be needed to power one LNG plant, let alone five or six. That amounts to a $16 billion provincial government subsidy for one.

Then you add the $3 billion for a new transmission line to power those LNG plants.

The B.C. government is also blowing $6B on subsidies for the LNG Canada terminal.

Then there’s the $34B federal commitment to TMX.

That totals $59,000,000,000 by my count. 59 billion mistakes and mis-steps, made with our hard-earned tax dollars, that add up to a looming fiscal and environmental disaster – all spent after our governments acknowledged we’re in a climate emergency.

Let’s imagine that our governments, instead of spending $59 billion to build new oil and gas projects, decided to simply pay every single oil and gas worker in B.C. $100,000 a year for an entire 35 year career. 

The StatsCan labour force survey shows 28,300 people in B.C. work in Mining, Quarrying and Oil & Gas. 58.5 per cent of those are in mining, so effectively 11,745 people work directly in oil & gas in B.C. (By the way, B.C. has a working population of 2,847,800. Somehow there are more people working in book publishing – 13,777 – than oil and gas.)

11,745 x $100,000 x 35 years = $41,107,500,000.00 – significantly less than what we’re on track to spend on oil and gas expansion in B.C.

On the one hand, you could say that a more effective use of government money would have been to fight climate change by hiring an entire industry’s worth of workers to apply their top-notch and highly transferable skills on renewable power projects, and then begin to address the healthcare crisis or housing with the $17,892,500,000 left over. 

But on the more cynical hand, you could say the government doesn’t give a damn about oil and gas jobs. The real beneficiaries are their corporate patrons: like CIA-linked foreign hedge funds backing apocalyptic infrastructure projects on stolen Indigenous land. That’s why Dogwood and allies are organizing to stop them.

If that’s worth a dollar a month to you, you can always chip in to support our work here.