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After UN chief calls out ‘scandalous’ profits, Ottawa offers no plan to hike taxes on oil and gas industry

After UN chief calls out 'scandalous' profits, Ottawa offers no plan to hike taxes on oil and gas industry

Canada’s Ministry of Finance says it’s aiming to make everyone pay “their fair share of tax” but is not committing to an elevated tax on energy companies who are reporting sizeable windfalls while consumers feel pinched at the gas pumps. 

The ministry’s statement comes on the heels of United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres sharply criticizing the world’s energy companies for making a profit at the expense of the poor.

On Wednesday, Guterres said the world’s top energy companies made $100 billion in the first quarter of this year and that those profits should be taxed and then used to support the most vulnerable people through difficult times.

He joined other figures who have recently accused oil companies of capitalizing on a global supply shortage to fatten profits and gouge consumers.

People attend the Global Energy Show trade fair in Calgary, Alta., on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. (The Canadian Press)

“This grotesque greed is punishing the poorest and most vulnerable people, while destroying our only common home, the planet,” Guterres said. “We are seeing excessive scandalous profits of the oil and gas industry in a moment in which all of us are losing money.”

WATCH | UN chief urges tax on ‘excessive profits’ of oil companies

After UN chief calls out scandalous profits Ottawa offers

UN chief urges tax on ‘excessive profits’ of oil companies

Governments should tax the ‘grotesque greed’ of the world’s oil and gas companies and use the money to help vulnerable people through this difficult time, said United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The day after Guterres’ comments — in which he did not single out any company — Suncor Energy Inc. reported earnings of $3.99 billion in the second quarter of 2022, more than four and a half times the $868 million it earned in the same period of 2021.

Asked if Ottawa has given any thought to a higher tax on such profits, the Ministry of Finance instead pointed to other tax measures taken by the federal government, including permanently hiking the corporate tax rate by 1.5 per cent on profitable banks and implementing a luxury tax on private jets and luxury cars worth more than $100,000.

“We have been, and remain, committed to making sure everyone pays their fair share of tax,” the ministry said in an emailed statement on Friday. 

NDP says extra revenue should go to ordinary Canadians

Daniel Blaikie, the New Democratic Party’s finance critic, said there’s “absolutely” a place for the federal government to tax “excess profit” at a time when “people are…

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