A recent article written by Matt Robinson details subsidies that B.C. pays to the fossil fuel industry. Considering the maturity of the industry, I wonder why we’re subsidizing the sector at all. Also, a sum of $2.6 billion to $ 3.2 billion in outstanding royalty credits from the industry is owed to us, and in 2017-18 at least $268 million in fossil fuel subsidies came to the industry through provincial tax exemptions.
One thing not mentioned in the article is the problem of “orphaned oil wells” — those abandoned by oil companies when they file for bankruptcy. Who pays for these? We do, not the company, or their investors. It seems a better idea to have the drilling companies/oil producers put up a “clean up fee” before they break ground. It might help clean up the mess left by some of the smaller companies.
Now, imagine if all the money that is paid in royalties and subsidies to the industry was instead re-directed to the cost of re-training the workers who would be negatively affected by a winding down of the fossil fuel industry. The politicians would then have an easier time meeting their greenhouse quotas. Another thought: maybe some of those dollars could also be used to subsidize the renewable energy industries, or we can remain tied to a centuries-old fossil fuel industry and fall behind more developing countries.
W.C. Brian Worth, Coquitlam
Service in exchange for safe shelter and food
I generally agree with letter writer Bonnie Gillis’ statement that a “panhandler fine is illogical.” People with little or no money cannot pay a fine. In many cases, panhandlers could be compelled to provide community service time in lieu of any fine. This would support the accepted practice of those earning a paycheque in exchange for services. Perhaps mandatory service in exchange for safe shelter and food is not an unreasonable expectation. Entitlements to a free ride have not served any community well.
Obligations, responsibility and respect for others is a reasonable expectation of all persons within their respective capabilities. Taxpayers continue to be subjected to much higher levels of responsibility and accountability than many in our community. Those who choose and support the recreational drug culture in any way should be willing or compelled to support their own care needs with financial and/or needed community services. In demonstrating such responsibility, they may find it leads to more meaningful employment, self-reliance and personal dignity.
I respect those who demonstrate respect for others.
Ken McLennan, Richmond
Personal budget frustrations
When does it stop? My personal budget is under attack by various unions and all three levels of government. All are creating a widening gap between the annual increase I see in my pension income and what they are negotiating for, or just plain taking.
Unifor’s argument about wage parity to Toronto is meaningless, and if they think they have my sympathy, they are very wrong. BCTF, Unifor and the SkyTrain union should have wage increases set to the Consumer Price Index and take wage increases off the bargaining table. In the same vein, the municipal and provincial governments need to balance their budgets and stabilize any tax increases. Legislate the concept, please.
As for federal government spending, God help us. They need to add some new words like prudent and responsible to their vocabulary and action plans as well as learning that the cost of servicing debt is directly related to the increase in deficit spending. The way we are headed, our federal budget will be spent on servicing the debt instead of providing government services. Frustrated? Yes, I am.
Doug Cline, North Vancouver
Congratulations Winnipeg Blue Bombers
On behalf of all Manitobans and the long-suffering Bomber fans everywhere, I thank all the players and management and staff of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for ending the 29-year drought and starting a new series of Grey Cup championships.
Paul Bacon, Hallandale Beach, Florida
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