Keep the pressure on: support workers not big oil executives

Is this the sunset of the oil and gas industry? Photo by Delfino Barboza on Unsplash

Let’s keep the pressure on from the comfort of your home/home office. 

In the past two weeks, 400 EcoSociety supporters like you sent emails to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance urging them to provide financial support to workers and people not to bail out big oil corporations. Tens of thousands of Canadians signed petitions and sent letters with the same message. That’s an amazing response. Thank you for speaking up!

Now let’s ramp up the public pressure by letting your neighbours know about the problems with a big oil bailout and why we should be supporting workers instead.

Along with almost 700 other people, I participated in an online rally last week sharing our concerns about the federal government’s plans to bail out big oil companies.

MPs Laurel Collins (NDP), Elizabeth May (Green), and Nathaniel Erskine-Smith (Liberal) had some tips on how to take this message to the next level:

  • Take this conversation where people are talking to each other — on social media, on blogs, and in the comments sections on news stories.
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.

When enough people are talking about a topic, decision makers will keep hearing our clear message: support workers, don’t bail out big oil CEOs. 

Our elected representatives are still working, helping workers and business owners navigate the federal aid package, helping people get back to Canada, and soon attending a digital parliament.

Make sure they hear your voice: support people, not big oil corporations. 

Take this time to write a letter to the editor of your local paper. We’ve got a few tips to help you along.

  • Write the letter in your own words.
  • The first line should explain your point.
  • Be brief, be respectful.
  • Show how this relates to your community and what’s at stake for you.
  • Keep your letter focused on one topic. 

Here are some key messages to include in your letter:

  • COVID-19 is a real and immediate risk to people’s health and livelihoods. It is clear in these unstable times how much we need economic resilience.
  • The federal government has the opportunity with this stimulus package to support workers in Alberta and across the country while also investing in what is needed to grow and support a low  carbon economy, and the kind of economy that can weather storms.
  • Giving billions of dollars to failing oil and gas companies will not help workers and only prolongs our reliance on fossil fuels.
  • Oil and gas companies are already heavily subsidized in Canada, and the public cannot keep  propping them up with tax breaks and direct support. Such measures benefit corporate bottom lines far more than they aid workers and communities facing public health and economic crises.
  • End with a call to action: any public relief should support workers in all sectors and not give big oil executives and shareholders a bailout.

Once you’ve written your letter, email it to the editor of your local paper, and when it’s in print (okay, online), share with your friends, neighbours and family.