OTTAWA Feb 5 Canada's federal government is set to cut back its direct spending on the fossil-fuel sector sharply as part of an international push to phase out subsidies, an official green watchdog said on Tuesday.
Environment Commissioner Scott Vaughan, who tried for the first time to calculate the entire amount Ottawa gives to energy firms, said direct spending from the 2007/08 fiscal year to 2011/12 totaled C$508 million.
"Extended over 30 years, this would represent a significant decline in direct spending support to the sector," he said, noting an official report in 2000 that found direct spending on the fossil-fuel sector from 1970 to 1999 totaled C$40.4 billion.
Tax breaks for the sector for 2006/07 to 2010/11 totaled C$1.47 billion. In addition, tax breaks for the mining, oil and gas and clean energy sectors from 2006/07 to 2010/11 totaled C$2 billion.
($1=$1.00 Canadian) (Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Peter Galloway)