Madam Chair, thank you very much for having me here today.
I've been asked to speak briefly on the results of our investigative study of ownership and financial benefits from the oil sands.
I will say a quick word on methodology. This report is based on data from Statistics Canada, the oil companies' annual and quarterly reports, and data obtained from the Bloomberg terminal.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the global economy and plunged the price of oil to record lows.
I will provide a bit of context as to why we did this particular research. Even before the world was turned upside down by the first global pandemic in a century, as my colleague noted, the oil and gas industry in Canada, despite rising production levels, was cutting jobs, paying less in royalties, while demanding higher and higher subsidies. To be specific, despite increasing oil sands production, the number of jobs created by the oil and gas sector has continued to decline.
Since 2014, the industry has shed 53,000 jobs. In addition, reclamation of the oil sands, conventional oil and gas wells and pipelines in Alberta is now estimated to cost at least $260 billion in liabilities. There is increasing concern that taxpayers, not polluters, will be left holding the bill for the cleanup of this massive toxic liability.
Finally, in addition, using WTO definitions, ISED studies are showing us that the federal government is subsidizing the industry with billions of dollars to producers, not consumers, providing disproportionate advantage to fossil fuel producers over renewable energy.
For many years, industry lobbyists and spokespeople have argued that increased support and greater subsidies were fair because we all benefit from the oil and gas industry. While Canada has enjoyed many benefits of the oil and gas industry, this investigation reveals that the majority of profits from the industry are leaving the country.
We now know that most oil sands production is not owned by Canadians. Ten of the 14 publicly traded companies invested in the oil sands are headquartered in Canada, but only two of those are majority owned by Canadians.