Investigation demanded into lobbying by Big Oil group: Alberta government should not leave decisions to industry, says AFL

The Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) today called for an investigation into the lobbying activities of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP).

“We have come into possession of a government of Alberta Briefing Note that shows CAPP is using industry insiders to lobby the province on a communications strategy for shale gas, but has not registered those industry insiders as its lobbyists,” says Nancy Furlong, Secretary Treasurer of the AFL, which represents 145,000 workers.

“The way the government handles lobbyists is important. It must be a completely transparent process. Albertans need to have faith that its government is setting policies, not leaving them to unelected pressure groups,” says Furlong.

The AFL has written a letter to the Registrar of the Lobbyist Act calling for an investigation and has sent him a copy of the briefing note.

“This briefing note reveals that CAPP approached the Alberta government asking for input on enhancing the communications strategy on shale gas development for the Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan governments.  It appears that the Alberta government is willing to let industry take the lead,” says Furlong.

“This is not the first time CAPP has been given too great a role in setting communications strategies for governments. Only one week ago, media reports revealed that CAPP was responsible for organizing a key meeting and some controversial messaging, in partnership with the federal and Alberta governments, to polish the image of Alberta's oil sands industry,” she says.

“It is telling that the only external stakeholder mentioned in the briefing note is CAPP. Where are the community groups that have legitimate concerns? Where are the environmental groups? This kind of behaviour, of allowing industry to craft government communications strategies on such important issue, is simply unacceptable. It says that industry is in the driver’s seat, and our government is abdicating its responsibility to govern for ALL Albertans.”


MEDIA CONTACT: Nancy Furlong, AFL Secretary Treasurer @ 780.720-8945

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