Taxing the Oil Sands
Last week, John Baird publicly questioned federal tax loopholes for the oil and gas industry. Although his comments were more about partisanship than policy, they still sound like a step in the right direction.
There seem to be some grounds for cautious optimism on this issue. At the beginning of the decade, there were only a few lonely voices talking about Canadaâ€™s under-taxation of the oil and gas industry. Since then, there have been more studies. Today, there is significant public debate in Alberta about low oil and gas royalties. Federally, a leading Conservative cabinet minister has left open the possibility ofÂ removing tax loopholes for this sector and the other partiesÂ have committed to doing so.
Just in case people are wondering if I always disagree with everything that is posted here, I’ll just say that I see no reason to give the oil sector any special tax break. Moreover, any climate change policy would include some sort of carbon tax on this sector.