Dear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,
This summer, I watched Canada burn with record-breaking and out-of-control wildfires. As summer ended, Libya was devastated by record flooding, intensified by climate change. The climate emergency is causing unprecedented damage and suffering, at home and around the world.
Ordinary Canadians are struggling with inflation and a skyrocketing cost of living, while the biggest polluters become ever wealthier. Holding these polluters accountable for the damage they are causing has become non-negotiable. I strongly support and call on you to implement a billionaire wealth tax and a windfall profits tax to make sure the richest Canadians and biggest companies pay their fair share.
Inequality is at the heart of so many injustices facing our country and our world, and these are exacerbated by the climate crisis. Billionaires are generating a million times more emissions than the average person, while fossil fuel companies, responsible for 70% of global emissions, have been lying to us for decades.
Many of Canada's biggest corporations have raked in record profits over the past few years, as fuel prices have shot through the roof. Globally, 45 energy corporations made on average an additional $237 billion a year in windfall profits in 2021 and 2022. Wealth inequality has grown astronomically, with Canadian billionaires' wealth increasing by roughly $111 billion over the first two years of the pandemic.
Taxing the biggest polluters would generate much needed resources to support the people and communities who are the hardest hit, and who have least contributed to the emergency. Taxing windfall profits is smart economic policy. Time for action is now!
Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
Hon. Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change