Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), the Department of Finance has overall responsibility within the government for monitoring and reporting on Canada’s progress against the G20 commitment to rationalize inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.
With regard to (b), first and foremost, not only has the government never introduced any tax incentive favouring the oil and gas sector, but it has also formally committed to rationalize and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies along with other G20 countries.
In support of that commitment, the government announced in 2007 and 2011 the phase-out of all tax preferences for oil sands producers relative to the conventional oil and gas sector. Indeed, due to the government’s action, the Income Tax Act does not include any tax preference specific to oil sands producers. As part of Economic Action Plan 2012, the government continued Canada’s efforts to meet our G20 commitment by phasing out the Atlantic investment tax credit for the oil and gas and mining sectors.
Moreover, the oil and gas sector faces the exact same general corporate income tax rate as all other sectors of the economy. Each year, the oil and gas sector pays billions of dollars in taxes, tax revenue used by governments to pay for health care and other social programs that Canadian families depend on. Furthermore, the oil and gas sector plays an important role in our economy, providing job opportunities for Canadians in communities across the country. The government will continually look for ways to further support global environmental commitments and eliminate inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.
Beyond the government’s recent steps outlined above to remove fossil fuel subsidies available in the oil and gas industry, it is also taking action through the tax system to encourage clean energy investments. Principally, the government has extended and expanded the scope of the accelerated capital cost allowance for clean energy generation equipment in recent years.
For instance, in 2011 the government expanded the incentive to include equipment that generates clean electricity using waste heat, while in 2012 it expanded the incentive to include a broader range of bioenergy equipment. Building on these measures, Economic Action Plan 2013 further expands eligibility for the incentive by including a broader range of biogas production equipment and equipment used to treat gases from waste.