Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

September 29, 2005 15:54 ET

Oil & Gas Prices: Where's the Government?

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, City Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OTTAWA--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 29, 2005) - As evidence of gouging is mounting, the Canadian Labour Congress calls again on the federal government to introduce a temporary excess profits tax on the oil and gas industry for one year.

According to a well-documented analysis published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the Canadian oil industry has been taking advantage of public fears and charging more than was justified by the increase in raw material costs. In the study "What's Behind High Gas Prices?," economist Hugh Mackenzie calculated that recent increases in the world price of crude oil would explain an average 7 to 9¢ per-litre increase at the pump for gasoline. But 15¢ was already profiteering and an increase of 40¢ per litre as is now the case across Canada is just plain gouging.

"The federal government must side with Canadian working families who need protection against the oil and gas corporations," says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress. "A temporary excess profits tax on the oil and gas industry would have a beneficial restraining effect on the greed of the oil companies."

The one-year, temporary excess profits tax on the oil and gas industry with proceeds directed to a cut in federal taxes on consumer energy purchases, should be accompanied with an increase in GST credits for low-income families; and higher investment in public transit and renewable energy programs.

Even before the impacts of hurricane Katrina and Rita were felt, energy prices as they affect consumers were already soaring; up 9% in July 2004 compared to the same month a year earlier. Moreover, since mid-2002, operating profits in the energy sector had almost doubled to about $12 billion per year.

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 137 district labour councils. Web site:

Contact Information

  • Jeff Atkinson, Canadian Labour Congress
    Primary Phone: 613-526-7425
    Secondary Phone: 613-863-1413