On November 14, 2016, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced from Marrakech, Morocco that Canadian tax payers will contribute $14 million to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) in Mexico and Chile.
The federal election in 2015 was the first time I ever voted for the Liberal Party. For the last two decades, I had strictly voted Green. I make this point only to affirm my support for environmental responsibility.
With that, this latest spend by the Federal Liberal Party is just another waste of tax payer dollars, spent far from home. Furthermore, the press release provides no details about how this $14 million is going to be spent, other than to:
- Mexico - Reduce gas flaring from plant operations.
- Chile - Capture methane that escapes decomposing garbage.
There are no details of how much of this $14 million is going to Mexico versus Chile. Nor are there any details about which organizations are receiving the funds.
Consider This About Mexico:
- $100 billion more in foreign reserves than the Bank of Canada.
- Pemex, Mexico’s state-owned oil company has exclusive rights over all oil production in the country. The company has C$141 billion in assets, of which C$14 billion is in cash.
- 1/3 of all the tax revenues collected in Mexico are paid for by Pemex.
- Cantarell Complex is one of the largest oil fields ever discovered globally. It produces 2 million barrels of oil every day or approximately $87 million in revenue per day.
- Ranked 67th globally in the 2016 Environmental Performance Index.
- Ranked 95th on the corruption index vs Canada at 9th.
By all accounts, Mexico does not need our money to fight climate change. The country has plenty of resources to address the SLCPs being produced. Furthermore, how can we be sure that our tax dollars are being spent appropriately with such high levels of corruption in Mexico?
The average Canadian probably doesn’t even know our government is spending this kind of money. And if they did happen to read this headline, would Canada committing $4 million versus $14 million even mean anything to them? I don't think so.
With our government expected to reach a federal deficit of $25 billion, why is Catherine McKenna spending money we don’t have to assist countries who should and can assist themselves?