With the federal budget announcement a week away, the Climate Action Network Canada is stepping up efforts to end federal subsidies to fossil fuel companies.

Today Climate Action Network Canada  and the Citizens Climate Lobby launch an ‘ad’ featuring two fossil fuel reps canvassing door-to-door asking for public handouts.

Recently Climate Action Network Canada, the Canadian Federation of Students and the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition launched a video about students receiving notice in the mail that their loans are paid off due to a shift in government priorities from fossil fuel to them. The video launch was followed by a phone mob event on March 3 when Canadians called Prime Minister Harper and Finance Minister Flaherty.

On Friday, Climate Action Network Canada will deliver an open letter, signed by over 115 organizations, calling on Harper and Flaherty to honour Canada’s G20 commitment made in Pittsburgh in 2009 to phase out subsidies and tax breaks to companies producing oil, gas and coal.

Despite the support of all opposition parties, 115 organizations and 70 per cent of Canadians to end these subsidies, Harper and Flaherty have offered no indication that they will do so in the budget announcement, scheduled to take place March 22.

The government of Canada gives oil and gas companies $1.4 billion per year in public handouts. Rather than cut them, as proposed by senior officials at the Department of Finance, the government has indicated that it will drastically cut environmental and social services in an effort to reduce national debt.

According to Postmedia News, an internal review by the Natural Resources Department found that those programs on the chopping block were expected to reduce greenhouse gases by 20 million tonnes by 2012 while generating $25 billion in new investments from stakeholders outside the federal government. According to the International Institute for Sustainable Development, the $1.4 billion in subsidies to oil and gas companies have a negligible effect on job creation.

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Climate Action Network Canada urges all citizens to call Harper and Flaherty this week asking that they honour Canada’s G20 commitment to end subsidies to fossil fuel companies. Dial (866) 599-4999 and ask to be transferred to the Prime Minister’s office or Flaherty’s. You will be asked to leave a message with a machine or receptionist. Phone calls are considered more effective than email messages.