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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Pipelines ahead of people

According to an International Institute for Sustainable Development report released this week, "Canadian pipelines have received over $23 billion in support from federal and provincial governments over the past three years".

$23 billion. Or approximately $7.6 billion a year.

This is significantly more money than the "$3.5 billion in funding to achieving clean drinking water on reserves since 2015. This includes $616.3 million over six years, and $114.1 million per year ongoing thereafter" that the federal government is so proud of but that has failed to end drinking water advisories in First Nations.

It is significantly more money than the $2.5 billion over seven years that the federal government committed to affordable housing in the 2021 budget.

In March 2021 NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq reported on a tour of her Nunavut constituency to bring to light its deplorable housing conditions. Her report on housing conditions for many in the territory was shocking. But the pipeline subsidies are far greater than the $200 million pledged and nearly $510 million promised for housing in the territory over nine years in 2019.

Imagine what could be done with $7.6 billion a year on any number of fronts, from being put towards free post-secondary education, pharmacare, public transit infrastructure, and on and on and on.

And these are just the subsidies to try to keep pipeline projects afloat despite the obvious evidence that such projects are completely at odds with alleged commitments to fight the climate change emergency. They are a fraction of overall subsidies by our various levels of government to, for example, the fossil fuel industry as a whole.

When politicians tell you there is no money for projects that would directly benefit the lives and well being of the people, this is yet more evidence of just how much they are lying.


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