OTTAWA – The Liberal government plans to spend five times more on pipeline construction this year than fighting climate change, according to new calculations from B.C. nonprofit Dogwood.

Thursday’s throne speech laid out a series of climate commitments drawn from the Liberal platform, which total $816 million in budget year 2020-21. Over the same period, the Trans Mountain project is expected to require at minimum $4 billion in public funds, or 4.9 times as much.

“This Parliament is tasked with steering Canada into the last decade scientists have given us to avoid catastrophic climate change. But Justin Trudeau is asking MPs to support a plan that will see the federal government spend five times more on increasing emissions rather than getting them under control,” said Alexandra Woodsworth, Campaigns Manager at Dogwood.

The throne speech made no mention of the Liberal promise to eliminate public subsidies to fossil fuel companies, which was a focus for both the NDP and the Greens during the recent election campaign.

“The lowest-hanging fruit in any serious climate plan is the public money we give to oil and gas companies, and Trans Mountain is top of that list,” said Woodsworth. “Not only do fossil fuel subsidies contribute to rising emissions, they steal tax dollars from efforts to fight climate change. It’s extremely disappointing to see the Liberals retreat from this promise.”

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  1. What are the Liberals promising to spend on reducing emissions in the first year of the new Parliament? Liberal platform commitments related to preventing climate change add up to $816 million in 2020-2021. This includes all items in the platform, not only those fully costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office.
  2. How much will Canada spend on the Trans Mountain project over the same time? Assuming the expansion costs $10 billion and that construction starts now and is completed 30 months from now in mid-2022, that’s $333 million/month, which works out to $4 billion spent in 2020-2021. That’s 4.9 times as much as the Liberals’ climate commitments totalling $816 million.