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article imageOp-Ed: Kenney accuses foreign groups of funding anti-oilsands groups

By Karen Graham     Jul 6, 2019 in Politics
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced Thursday that the government will spend $2.5 million on a year-long public inquiry into what he described as a foreign-funded defamation campaign by environmental groups against Alberta’s oil and gas industry.
Claiming that foreign benefactors have been bankrolling Canadian environmental groups that are "hell-bent on keeping Canada's oilsands" production from growing, Kenney said "They often say that sunlight is the best disinfectant. This public inquiry will be sunlight on the activities of this campaign," reports CTV News.
"It will investigate all of the national and international connections, follow the money trail and expose all of the interests involved.," he added.
The $2.5 million inquiry will be led by Steve Allan, a forensic and restructuring accountant with more than 40 years of experience. But according to Kenney, the inquiry will find out if any laws have been broken and then Alberta can decide on what, if any, legal action can be taken.
Kenney added: "Most importantly, it will serve notice that Alberta will no longer allow hostile interest groups to dictate our economic destiny as one of the most ethical major producers of energy in the world."
David going up against Goliath
Alberta's premier is making some big accusations and claims, and not everyone is thrilled at the move. Opposition NDP member Deron Bilous said the inquiry is akin to paying someone $2.5 million to do a glorified Google search.
"This is a fool's errand," he said. "I don't believe this will help Alberta further its interests in accessing pipelines and expanding our market access."
Kenney wasn't particular in pointing out the alleged perpetrators involved in the foreign-funded defamation campaign. Kenney said the inquiry will look into groups like the Rockefeller Brothers’ Fund and the Tides Foundation who were funding groups like Tide Canada to oppose gas and oil development.
He also accuses U.S. charities of deliberately trying to landlock Alberta resources for years by funneling money to an array of Canadian groups. He accuses them of killing several coast-bound pipelines that would have helped oilsands crude get to markets besides the U.S., as well as delays in building the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.
Kenney also alleged that there is Russian involvement in the anti-oilsands campaign as well as suggesting that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) wants Alberta’s energy resources landlocked, reports The Star.
Resource Clips quotes Kenney: “We’ve seen huge increases in production and consumption from OPEC countries, from the Russian autocracy, from the Venezuelan dictatorship and even from our neighbors to the south but almost all of this political pressure [targets] this liberal democracy with the highest human rights, labor, and environmental standards. And we want to know why who and how much. We want to know what exactly lies behind this campaign to defame and landlock Canadian energy.”
The OPEC+ alliance has breathed fresh life into OPEC and brought Russia new influence as an arbiter ...
The OPEC+ alliance has breathed fresh life into OPEC and brought Russia new influence as an arbiter on the oil market
Accusations based on writings of Vivian Krause
Vancouver-based Vivian Krause is an independent researcher and works from her dining room table - searching Google for all her information. Point is - just about anyone can do this and it is important to point out that everything on the Internet is not the "gospel truth." But, that is where Krause gets her information.
While Krause claims to be an independent researcher, she also openly admits to receiving funding from the oil, gas, and mining industries for her speaking engagements. In 2019, Krause said her funding from the energy industry has amounted to $200,000 over seven years, The Star reported.
Responding to questions on Twitter, Krause confirmed that more than 90 percent of her funding in the years 2012, as well as 2013 and 2014, were from speaking fees and honorariums from the oil, gas, and mining industries. So it appears she has an incentive to find all the dirt she can on "foreign" influence against Alberta oilsands.
Krause stays busy testifying at various House of Commons committee meetings and making speeches accusing various government leaders of questionable actions. In the U.S., we would call her a "whistle-blower" or a "crackpot." As an example of her political activism, she recently made a speech accusing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of preventing the Canada Revenue Agency from auditing politically active charities and then having retroactively changed legislation to allow political activism.
Besides being accused of being a “conspiracy theorist," Vivian Krause's opinions are clouded by her direct involvement with the oil and gas industry, even if all she is paid is in the form of honorariums. That is still akin to funding. Greenpeace energy campaigner Mike Hudema is also confused about the inquiry and Krause's involvement.
“Let me save Jason Kenney a few million dollars. Yes, we are actively working, in Alberta and all around the world, to keep oil in the ground. That shouldn’t really surprise anyone because it’s on our website, is written on massive banners we hang off buildings, and has been our mandate almost since Greenpeace was first founded in Canada more than 40 years ago,” Hudema said.
“We are trying to do that not because of some nefarious plot against Alberta, but because that’s what science is telling us we must do to save the planet and ensure a safe future for all of us.”
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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