Environmental groups to Finance Ministers: “No financial bailout for tar sands”

December 17, 2008 – On the day Canadian finance ministers are meeting in Saskatoon to discuss financial breaks for Tar Sands, environmental groups took out an ad in the local Saskatoon paper, the Star Phoenix, that asks ‘How will Canada’s finance ministers spend your money?’

The ad can be viewed at www.sierraclub.ca/national/media/fin-min-ad-star-phoenix.pdf

“In such uncertain financial times, we need to put people to work in stable green projects, not high-cost, short-term destructive projects like the Tar Sands,” said Gillian McEachern of ForestEthics. “Of all the places to send aid, dirty oil is not one of them.”

The ad was placed by Environmental Defence, ForestEthics, Greenpeace, and the Sierra Club Canada and features an unsigned cheque hovering over a polluting tar sands facility. The cheque is from “Canada’s taxpayers” for billions of dollars, made out to “Dirty oil.” The ad includes the fact that renewable energy creates more jobs than fossil fuels.

On Monday Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach wrote to Prime Minister Harper asking for an accelerated capital cost allowance for the tar sands, as well as a tax break for oil and gas companies to restore the subsidy closed off when income trusts were shut down.

“The U.S. is about to pass a massive green stimulus package that brings together the economy and the environment,” said Stephen Hazell, Executive Director of the Sierra Club Canada. “Will Canada instead say ‘No we can’t’?”

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