Kenney announces UCP government will pursue legal action against US-funded campaign targeting Alberta energy

April 13, 2019

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Groups pushing to landlock Alberta energy are supporting the Trudeau-Notley alliance

VALLEYVIEW, AB (April 13, 2019): Today, United Conservative leader Jason Kenney announced that a UCP government would obtain legal advice and pursue all possible legal remedies against the foreign-funded Tar Sands Campaign whose explicit goal has been to landlock Alberta oil and gas. 
Independent researcher Vivian Krause has detailed how groups like the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Hewlett Foundation have poured tens of millions of dollars into the campaign, including funding last year’s Federal Court application that led to a suspension of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion. She has also highlighted that groups like Lead Now and Progress Alberta who are campaigning for the Alberta NDP have received funds from US Tar Sands Campaign donors to landlock Alberta energy.
“We now know that for months Rachel Notley has been sitting on a legal opinion indicating that the Government of Alberta could take action against groups behind the Tar Sands Campaign,” Kenney said. “Some have estimated that Alberta is losing up to $16 billion a year in value from the price discount that results from our oil producers being captive to the US market. This is a direct result of the campaign to landlock Canadian energy supported by the Tar Sands Campaign, which in the last year has succeeded in delaying the Trans Mountain Expansion, Keystone XL, and the Line 3 replacement project.”
In a column published in the Financial Post, Krause reveals that since July 2018 she has sought to work with the Notley government to implement a legal strategy to push back against the Tar Sands Campaign, but that ultimately the NDP decided to do and say nothing to oppose the effort to landlock Alberta oil. 
When asked about the memo by a reporter earlier this week, NDP leader Rachel Notley said that such a fight would be “a waste of resources.”
Krause writes that “it is clear to me that Notley will never do what is necessary for any Alberta pipeline project to go ahead… Rockefeller-supported organizations are helping to defeat the UCP, the only political party in the Alberta election that is committed to breaking the U.S. monopoly on Alberta’s overseas oil exports.  Does this explain why Notley refuses to stand up to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and its campaign to landlock Canadian oil? Is this why Notley has rarely if ever publicly mentioned the Rockefeller-funded Tar Sands Campaign?” 
Kenney said that a UCP government would challenge the groups behind the Tar Sands Campaign. “The NDP is supported by the very same groups that have been fighting to landlock our energy. That’s why they have done nothing and will do nothing to challenge the foreign funded special interests that are attacking our vital economic interests. The jobs crisis in Alberta has been caused in part by the flight of tens of billions of dollars of investment from our oil and gas sector to the booming US energy industry. The NDP has said and done nothing to push back against this campaign that is killing Alberta jobs. That is why I am announcing today that a UCP government would immediately pursue an aggressive legal strategy to hold the Tar Sands Campaign funders to account for what they have done to our province.”
Speaking to hundreds gathered at the pro-resource Rally for the North, Kenney also outlined the broader United Conservative strategy to fight back against the opponents of Alberta’s energy industry, including:

  • Establishing an ‘Energy War Room’ to respond in real time to the lies and myths told about Alberta’s energy industry through paid, earned, and social media
  • Using the persuasive power of the Premier’s “bully pulpit” to tell the truth in both official languages across Canada and around the world about how Albertans produce energy with the world’s highest environmental, human rights, and labour standards
  • Creating a $10 million litigation fund to support pro-development First Nations in defending their right to be consulted on major energy projects
  • Asking the energy industry to significantly increase its advocacy efforts
  • Boycotting multinational companies that boycott Alberta’s energy sector
  • Challenging the charitable status of groups that are funneling foreign money into anti-Alberta campaigns
  • Ending provincial government funding for groups involved in the Tar Sands campaign 
  • Launching a public inquiry under the Inquiries Act into the foreign sources of funds behind the anti-Alberta energy campaign
  • Banning foreign money from interfering in Alberta politics by making it illegal for foreign entities to finance political action committees
  • Supporting adoption of Senator Linda Frum’s Bill S-239, which would ban foreign money from federal Canadian politics

Since 2009, the American-based Tides Foundation and its Canadian affiliate Tides Canada gave at least 400 payments and $25 million to Canadian, American, and European organizations to oppose pipelines in Canada. This includes groups like Progress Alberta, who received foreign funds specifically to oppose “dirty fuels and pipelines” and is putting those funds to use by running a “Stop Kenney” campaign in support of the Notley NDP. 
“It is now clear that Rachel Notley and the NDP surrendered to the foreign funded special interests campaigning to landlock Alberta energy, because those same groups support the NDP. As Vivian Krause has documented, NDP front groups like Progress Alberta have received money to campaign against Alberta energy jobs,” Kenney said. 
Kenney’s speech comes in the final days of an election campaign in which the United Conservative Party has put forward hundreds of solutions to the problems plaguing the economy and holding Albertans back from realizing their full potential, including standing up against foreign-funded pro-NDP groups determined to landlock Alberta oil.
The United Conservative Party has put forward the most comprehensive platform in Alberta political history. With more than 375 concrete points, Albertans have been given a clear roadmap for positive change, something that Kenney says is driving United Conservative momentum in the final days of the campaign.
“We have a positive mainstream plan to get Alberta moving again. It’s a plan that sends a message that a United Conservative government will act with boldness to get our economy moving, a plan that announces to the world: Alberta is open for business again.”
“In just 3 days, Albertans will make a critical decision. Do they want four more years of debt, job losses, higher taxes, and a Trudeau-Notley alliance, or are they ready for positive change that kick starts the economy, gets Albertans back to work, and stands up for Alberta against foreign funded special interests and Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government?” Kenney concluded.


B-Roll video from today’s announcement is available here.

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