NDP MP Calls Suncor CEO for Climate Accountability in Parliament Session


In the wake of momentous events unfolding on the global scale as the struggle for climate change continues, Charlie Angus, Member of Parliament from the New Democratic Party (NDP) has disclosed an intention to invite Rich Kruger, CEO of oilsands behemoth, Suncor, to the natural resources committee meeting when the House of Commons assembly resumes its proceedings next week.

The announcement by Angus comes in response to some provocative statements made by Kruger in the course of a recent investor conference call. Despite having assumed his role as Suncor’s CEO only recently in April, Kruger claimed that the conglomerate has overconcentrated its efforts on long-term energy transition to low-emitting and renewable fuels. He promoted a considerable shift in the company’s route towards exploiting immediate financial opportunities latent in the oilsands sector, reasoning that they bank on ‘creating value through a large integrated asset base underpinned by oilsands’.

Prior to Kruger’s appointment, Suncor divested its solar and wind power assets in a surprising move, further reinforcing its commitment to fossil fuel assets through the acquisition of a new oilsands mine.

Angus, who serves as the NDP critic for natural resources, expressed his displeasure at Kruger’s remarks, labeling them as both ‘shocking’ and ‘irresponsible’. He drew a grim picture of the aftermath of Suncor’s actions, pointing out the displacement of thousands of people, destruction of millions of hectares of forest, and a continent blanketed in toxic smoke. Consequently, he called upon Kruger to explain why they are ‘refusing to accept responsibility’, and questioned their commitment to Canadian interests.

For his motion to be discussed within the committee, Angus needs support from other committee members, and while a date for the next meeting has yet to be decided, he needs the backing of five other members for the motion to pass.

Julie Dabrusin, a Liberal MP and member of the committee, voiced her view on the matter, opining that while a discussion amongst her colleagues is necessary before deciding on the motion, corporations need to prioritize climate change action. She stressed the need for ‘meaningful action to decarbonize’ and reaching a net-zero status by 2050, urging CEOs of the biggest emitters in the country to clearly delineate how they plan to meet their climate change goals.

Environment Minister, Steven Guilbeault, although ineligible to vote, previously voiced his criticism of Kruger’s comments, highlighting the need for government regulation in industrial climate action.

Unfortunately, the government has not yet announced the greenhouse-gas emissions cap to be set. However, the Emissions Reduction Plan aims at approximately a 40% reduction in emissions resulting from oil and gas production by 2030.

The Pathways Alliance, a conglomerate of oilsands companies working on a carbon capture and storage technology, deemed this goal unrealistic. Oil and gas accounted for 28% of Canada’s total emissions in 2021, with the oilsands alone contributing to 13%.

Suncor, a member of the Pathways Alliance, showed a hefty increase in emissions in 2021, being 50% higher than it was a decade ago. However, the company still professes its commitment to the project, while remaining silent on Angus’ request for a comment.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here