EDMONTON, AB (March 22, 2019): A United Conservative government will take immediate steps to stand up to the foreign influences working to land lock Alberta oil, and undermine our energy sector.
“Relentless attacks on our oil and gas industry have costs us tens of thousands of jobs, impacting families from every region of our province. Albertans rightly expect their government to take the initiative and stand up for Alberta’s interests,” said Kenney.
“Premier Notley has not done nearly enough to fight back against the misinformation these groups spread, and has taken no meaningful action to cut off the foreign funding flowing into our country to kill Alberta jobs.”
Thanks to the intrepid reporting of journalist Vivian Krause, among others, Albertans now have proof that provincial interests are being challenged by well-funded foreign actors who have been waging a decade-long campaign to land lock Alberta’s oil.
“These foundations have provided at least $75-million for campaigns and land use planning initiatives that thwart the development and export of Canadian oil,” according to Krause.
Krause also found that, 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 specifically to oppose pipelines in Canada.
One key player in all of this the Pembina Institute. Recently the former executive director of Pembina, Ed Whittingham, was appointed to the Alberta Energy Regulator for five years at $76,500 per year.
According to Krause’s reporting, “During his years at The Pembina Institute, the institute and its sister organization, The Pembina Foundation for Environmental Research and Education received at least $8 million from the U.S. funders of The Tar Sands Campaign and other activism against the Canadian oil and natural gas industry.”
“After having hand picked anti-Alberta extremist Tzeporah Berman to be her top oilsands advisor, Rachel Notley is now paying this guy to finish the job,” said Kenney.
“Let’s be clear: Rachel Notley and the NDP have appointed someone who has been engaged in a campaign of economic sabotage against Alberta jobs to now regulate our oil and gas industry.”
To stand up to foreign influences, a UCP government will:
1) Establish an ‘Energy War Room’ to:
- Respond in real time to the lies and myths told about Alberta’s energy industry through paid, eared, and social media.
- Establish a presence in key media markets in Canada and around the world.
The Energy War Room will be a part of the Public Affairs Bureau, with a $30 million budget ($20 million new, $10 million re-profiled from the existing government advertising budget).
2) Use 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 at the highest environmental, human rights, and labour standards.
3) Create a $10 million litigation fund to support pro-development First Nations in defending their right to be consulted on major energy projects.
4) Ask the energy industry to significantly increase its advocacy efforts.
5) Seek and support Alberta energy companies that are willing to challenge the campaign of defamation by anti-Alberta special interests, similar to Resolute Forest Products’ efforts to sue Greenpeace for $300 million in damages.
6) When multinationals like HSBC boycott Alberta products, the Government of Alberta will boycott them. In addition, the government will work with like-minded allies to challenge to wide campaign seeking to have institutional investors boycott Alberta oil. The investment community needs to be made aware that foreign dictator oil regimes have terrible record when it comes to environmental, human rights, labour standards, the treatment of women, and political stability.
7) Challenge the charitable status of charitable foundations that are funneling foreign money into anti-Alberta campaigns. Challenges submitted to the CRA will be based on Canadian charities law, and if necessary will proceed to the Federal Court.
8) End any and all provincial government funding for groups involved in the “Tarsands” campaign.
9) Launch a public enquiry under the Enquiries Act into the foreign sources of funds into the anti-Alberta energy campaign. The enquiry will have the power to compel witness testimony, and have a $2.5 million budget. The enquiry may follow up on investigations done in other jurisdictions, including:
- A 2017 Office of the Director of National Intelligence report that contained, “clear evidence that the Kremlin is financing and choreographing anti-fracking propaganda in the United States.”
- A 2018 House Science Committee report, which states, “the Kremlin manipulated various groups in an attempt to carry out its geopolitical agenda, particularly with respect to domestic energy policy.”
10) Approve a law banning foreign money from interfering in Alberta politics, making it illegal for foreign entities to finance third party advertisers (also known as political action committees).
11) Actively support and seek adoption of Senator Linda Frum’s Bill S-239, which would ban foreign money in federal Canadian politics.
12) Fire Ed Whittingham.
“For far too long, the NDP has turned a blind eye to those seeking to bully our energy industry. In fact, a single enterprising reporter – Vivian Krause – has done more to expose the “land lock” campaign than the entire NDP government. The cost to our province, in terms of jobs and investment lost, is incalculable,” said Kenney.
“This isn’t a time for words and empty rhetoric, this is a time for action. United Conservative will stand up to the foreign influences seeking to undermine our province.”
For more information, click below:
A United Conservative government will stand up to the foreign influences undermining our energy sector.