Fossil fuel companies get major government backing

Government subsidies to the oil, gas and coal industry cost G20 countries $450 billion annually, according to a detailed report from Oil Change International. This figure includes $US 1.6 billion in tax subsidies from the federal government and another $US 1.1 billion from provincial governments, mostly Alberta and BC. This figure doesn’t include at least $2.5 billion in export promotion support through Export Development Canada, nor does it include public subsidies for the cost of clean-up and decontamination. CUPE has signed onto the Leap Manifesto, which calls for an end to fossil fuel subsidies and a transition to clean energy.

Climate change could impoverish 100 million

Climate change could result in an additional 100 million people living in extreme poverty by 2030, according to a report by the World Bank titled Shock Waves. Climate change hurts the poor in many ways, including through drought, floods, and crop scavenges that wipe out food production. Rising food prices, disease, and extreme weather events make the problem worse. While some level of climate change is inevitable, we can help reduce these impacts with well-designed support and adaptation for the poor.

TPP deal worst thing Harper left us

Harsh criticism of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) investment and trade deal has come from an unlikely corner: Jim Balsillie, the co-founder of Blackberry. Although the list is long, Balsillie described the pending TPP deal as “the worst thing Harper has done for Canada” because it will stifle innovation and force Canadian companies to pay billions more in intellectual property fees to U.S. firms. The international humanitarian organization Doctors without Borders is also campaigning vigorously against the TPP, calling it “the most harmful trade pact ever,” in part because it will sharply increase the cost of medicine for the world’s poorest.

Young and indebted

If housing prices drop by 20 per cent as some have suggested, young homeowners would be hardest hit. This decline would put 169,000 families under age 40 underwater, and would erase 39 per cent of their net worth according to a report by David MacDonald at the Canadian Centre of Policy Alternatives. Debt to income levels have increased for all age groups as housing prices have increased far faster than wages, but they’re highest for those in their 30s, whose average debt levels are now almost four times their incomes.