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August 8th, 2023
“(This framework) is just being put before us and then that’s the fear, because the government is really trying to implement policies without talking to the actual grassroots people. It just seems we keep having these arguments over and over again.” —Stephen Buffalo, president and CEO of the Indian Resource Council of Canada
Stephen Buffalo, president and CEO of the Indian Resource Council of Canada (IRC), is not applauding the federal government’s recent announcement that subsidies will continue to flow to First Nations to support their economic participation in fossil fuel activities.
The continuation of those particular subsidies was one of six exemptions outlined in Canada’s framework for eliminating inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. The framework was released July 24 by Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault. Also identified as an exemption are subsidies that provide an essential energy service to remote communities.
The framework is in response to Canada’s 2009 commitment to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies as part of a commitment with other G20 countries. Such subsidies, says the 2009 G20 communique, “encourage wasteful consumption, reduce our energy security, impede investment in clean energy sources and undermine efforts to deal with the threat of climate change.”