The Alberta government has hired a former Postmedia columnist to “fight back” against what it says are the “lies and myths being spread about Alberta’s energy industry.”
Oil-and-gas reporter Claudia Cattaneo has been contracted to develop a strategic plan “that will lay the foundation for restoring Alberta’s reputation in the fight for our oil and gas sector,” Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage said in a statement. The strategic plan will be presented to government by fall.
“The time has come for Alberta to fight back,” said Savage. “For more than a decade, anti-fossil fuel interest groups from around the world have been leading a deceitful campaign to landlock the oilsands. Not only has this campaign – founded entirely on lies – damaged the reputation of our world-class energy sector, it has caused significant damage to our province and hurt thousands of people who work hard and are proud of the work they do.
“Enough is enough. Our government is taking a stand and is fighting for Alberta energy and the hardworking Albertans who rely on our oil and gas industry to put food on the table for their families.”
Savage said reporting the truth about the energy industry was at the centre of Cattaneo’s career.
“She is uniquely qualified to help us take action. I look forward to receiving her insights and benefitting from her years of experience. This plan will reset the record and loudly tell the world ‘Alberta is back’ – and respond, in real time, to the misinformation being spread about the industry. How will we do this? By challenging. One word at a time, one fact at a time, and one truth at a time. The lies end now.”
But Greenpeace Canada’s Executive Director, Christy Ferguson, disagreed. “No matter who’s hired,” he said, “Jason Kenney’s publicly subsidized war room is money wasted on distracting Albertans from what needs to be done to prepare the province for the global economic transition away from oil. It’s irresponsible theatrics.”
Mario Toneguzzi is a Troy Media business reporter based in Calgary.