Alberta Politics
Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage at yesterday’s one-woman news conference (Photo: Chris Schwarz, Government of Alberta).

Allan Inquiry half-heartedly exonerates environmental groups that took U.S. funding, turns on Alberta War Room

Posted on October 22, 2021, 2:25 am
9 mins

Of all the conclusions of Commissioner Steve Allan’s misbegotten and sometimes incoherent $3.5-million “Public Inquiry into Anti-Alberta Energy Campaigns” might have come up with, the most unexpected was what he had to say about Canadian Energy Centre Ltd. 

Who would have thought that the Allan Inquiry would end up attacking the War Room, the flip side of Premier Jason Kenney’s key 2019 campaign promise to strike an inquiry and create a war room to counter environmentalist “misinformation” about the fossil fuel industry?

Alberta Inquiry Commissioner Steve Allan (Photo: Lieutenant Governor of Alberta).

Yet here it is, straight from the 657 pages of the report released yesterday: 

“In the course of my interviews over the past 18 months, the Canadian Energy Centre has come under almost universal criticism,” Mr. Allan wrote, quite accurately. 

“There may be a need for a vehicle such as this, assuming proper governance and accountability is established, to develop a communications/marketing strategy for the industry and/or the province, but it may well be that the reputation of this entity has been damaged beyond repair,” he went on. (Emphasis added.)

To borrow a phrase, this was a bit like the Alberta fightback strategy’s two left feet kicking each other. 

“Out of the gate, the name ‘War Room’ solicited mixed reviews,” Mr. Allan’s report explained. “Strong oil and gas advocates were in support of this defensive strategy, while people on the fence hungry for more knowledge, or the skeptics, were highly critical. 

“The name change to the Canadian Energy Centre may have been a strong strategic move but unfortunately it was too late to undo the damage and it is still widely referred to as the ‘War Room’ by the media and the public. 

“In addition, there were several missteps from the outset that damaged its reputation from which it has not been able to recover,” the report also said. 

Canadian Energy Centre Ltd. CEO and General Manager Tom Olsen (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

“It was created as a Crown corporation, which may be appropriate, but its governance, and accordingly its credibility, is seriously compromised by having three provincial cabinet ministers comprising its board of directors. I have highlighted criticisms of the governance of the not for profit/charitable sector elsewhere in this Report; these same criticisms of the need for independence, openness, transparency and accountability apply to the Canadian Energy Centre as well.”

The United Conservative Government, by the way, insists CEC Ltd. is a private corporation, not a Crown, the better to avoid freedom of information filings. But whatever. 

Not long after the 11 a.m. release of the report, Tom Olsen, the unsuccessful UCP candidate chosen by the Kenney Government two years ago to run the War Room, issued a defensive response.

“The CEC doesn’t shy away from constructive criticism and we are committed to continuous improvement,” the former Calgary Herald journalist stoutly maintained. “We are, however, disappointed the commission did not contact us to gain better insight into the work of the CEC to build wide-ranging support through increasingly effective advocacy campaigns directed at target audiences in the rest of Canada, the U.S. and across the globe.”

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney (Photo: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr).

Well, under such circumstances, it’s no wonder Mr. Allan wasn’t invited to Energy Minister Sonya Savage’s news conference, at which she did her best to spin as an outrage the underwhelming conclusions of the report that no laws were broken, opponents of further expansion of the Alberta oilsands were simply expressing their free speech rights, and there’s no evidence their lawful free speech had any impact at all.

“While anti-Alberta energy campaigns may have played a role in the cancellation of some oil and gas projects, I am not in a position to find that these campaigns alone caused project delays or cancellations,” Mr. Allan said.

 “There is no doubt that these campaigns have occurred in an environment of reduced investment in oil and gas projects, at least since 2014 when global oil prices fell by almost half and other economic factors were at play. Much of the reduced investment is therefore due to natural market forces …” 

This was certainly not the message Mr. Kenney promised the inquiry would send when he set it up in 2019, or that Ms. Savage pretended at her news conference it somehow had. 

It almost suggests, whatever the original plan, that legal challenges and warnings by groups like Ecojustice and Greenpeace Canada during the months the inquiry was slouching toward Edmonton had the effect of making the commissioner watch his step very carefully.

Whatever the public inquiry, which never met in public, was expected to deliver, Mr. Allan laboured mightily and brought forth a mouse.

“To be very clear,” he reported, “I have not found any suggestions of wrongdoing on the part of any individual or organization. No individual or organization, in my view, has done anything illegal. Indeed, they have exercised their rights of free speech.” 

So, complete exoneration for Mr. Kenney’s hand-picked enemies.

Citing a Deloitte Forensic Inc. report commissioned by the Inquiry, Mr. Allan concluded that $37.5 to $58.9 million was used to oppose Alberta resource development by groups, both in Canada and the United States. Again, all of it completely legal. 

This probably explains why Premier Kenney, too, didn’t manage to show up yesterday’s news conference. He didn’t even rate a quote in the government’s news release, which included a couple of blandly supportive bromides from the presidents of the Canadian Association  of Petroleum Producers and the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. 

The report made six mostly anodyne and forgettable recommendations, barely mentioned in media coverage.

The ones calling for enhanced regulatory oversight of charities and creation of a national business strategy are mostly in federal jurisdiction. The others were enhanced dialogue with First Nations, a research and technology initiative, investment in collecting reliable information, and rebranding Canadian energy. 

Ms. Savage, naturally, did her best to spin up the report’s conclusions. “Was it illegal? No. Was it wrong? I think the majority of Albertans would say it was wrong, and they want to know how it happened, who was involved, and how they can make sure it doesn’t happen to the energy resources of the future,” she insisted. 

“Albertans have a right to be upset!”

Ms. Savage ended the news conference after engaging the New York Times’s reporter in a short verbal sparring match, which didn’t go well for the minister when the correspondent proved more difficult to shout down than our mild-mannered local scribes. 

“We have a right to be mad,” she concluded.

True enough, I guess.

But after a lame performance like this, the rest of the world has the right not to take us very seriously.

34 Comments to: Allan Inquiry half-heartedly exonerates environmental groups that took U.S. funding, turns on Alberta War Room

  1. Dave

    October 22nd, 2021

    I suppose “we have a right to be mad” could already be the unofficial slogan of this decade, even though it is just starting, but this cuts both ways.

    For instance we could rightly be mad the UCP wasted money on a non public, public inquiry for political reasons. We could also be rightly mad about how they mishandled COVID. A lot of unnecessary deaths is surely something to be rightly extermely mad about.

    There is so much anger and rage that some in politics try to stir up or create these days. It sometimes seems like a successful strategy in the short run, until it boomerangs back against and consumes those who try to exploit it, much like an arsonist who gets quite singed in a blaze he sets.

    So, maybe the first step is for some politicians in power to cut back on these divisive strategies, they are not helping. Mr. Allan was right about the War Room. A misnamed crown corp is not suited for the task it was given, but neither was a non public, public inquiry.

    However, at least Mr. Allan did not go along with the conspiracy theories and the politically motivated, baseless accusations. So his political bosses are probably also very mad about that today.

    Reply
  2. Political Ranger

    October 22nd, 2021

    If you lied like this to your employer they would have a legal right to fire you. That precedent is older than anyone reading this. The employer is owed a duty of care and diligence which equates to telling the truth and recognising the reality of the circumstance.

    Why then do we tolerate these idiotic scum-bags lying and cheating and stealing from the common wealth of the people? There is something seriously wrong with the vast majority of Albertans.
    I’m preaching to the choir, I know.

    Reply
    • Carlos

      October 22nd, 2021

      Exactly what I ask. There is something very wrong with us or one great percentage of us believes that kind of behaviour to be acceptable as long as you do not get caught which is even worse.

      Reply
    • Ralph

      October 23rd, 2021

      Again…what’s the definition of insanity. I think that best describes how the electorate keep voting in Alberta.

      Reply
  3. Patrick Hertel

    October 22nd, 2021

    “We have a right to be mad,” she concluded.

    Always knew they were upset.
    Always knew they were quite mad.

    Reply
  4. Carlos

    October 22nd, 2021

    Another 3.5 million dollars to support the UCP circus.
    Savage’s performance was the usual and the rest of the world already knows well what is going on in this province.
    Even Justin Trudeau took the opportunity to make a direct and serious comment on our newest joke, the equalization referendum.
    We have become the most popular comedy show in Canada, followed by the other Conservative show in Saskatchewan. These last two years in Alberta made as a series could be the last chance we have of at least recovering some of the costs. It is absolutely incredible.

    Reply
  5. ronmac

    October 22nd, 2021

    Allen must be pissed Olsen beat him in a poker game or golf -hence the mean words directed at the war room. Maybe we should start calling it the wart room.

    Reply
  6. Abs

    October 22nd, 2021

    Alberta’s UCP: a laughingstock. Alberta under the UCP: a laughingstock.

    Now that the world has stopped paying attention to us, it’s time for some election jimmylng. Who in the world really cares about the inner workings of a third-rate banana republic and its banana-in-chief, Jason Kenney?

    Reply
  7. Geoffrey Pounder

    October 22nd, 2021

    “We have a right to be mad”
    Indubitably, Sonya Savage & Co. are mad as hatters.
    The UCP base has a case of terminal outrage. No evidence required for the facts-don’t-matter crowd.
    Jason Kenney and his Big Oil overlords are just going to have to find another way to criminalize environmentalism and outlaw dissent.
    Maybe another referendum?

    Reply
  8. Phlogiston

    October 22nd, 2021

    Allan’s report is just another feckless nothing burger that is no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to the UCP government’s missteps and incompetence or, for that matter, anyone with any sense. Apparently, very few in the UCP have any sense at all and blindly follow conspiracy theory narratives that paint Alberta as some poor victim of forces beyond its control.

    Yes, indeed, there are forces that are beyond Alberta’s control that are driving the fossil fuel and coal extraction industries to a worse place, but they are not the forces that the UCP wants to pay attention to in order to, I don’t know, develop long-term strategies for adaptation and mitigation. These forces are, of course, the very real forces of climate change, fossil fuel divestment, shifts in public opinion, and so on. They are not the imagined forces favored by the conspiracy-minded, low-information caucus in the UCP and elsewhere in this province:

    This is a government that not only gaslights its electorate; it is a government in deep denial that goes to extreme lengths to gaslight itself. The Allan report and its origins are a case in point. Desperate to find a reason other than the past incompetence of earlier conservative governments and other causes based in reality, rather than delusional fantasy, for the plight of the oil and gas and coal extraction industry, it throws money at the bat-shit crazy and spendthrift schemes, such as the Allan Report and the CEC, to convince us and themselves that reality is different than what it appears to be.

    Who is the UCP trying to kid? It seems they are successfully at only further deluding themselves. Hearing Sonya Savage on CBC Edmonton this morning trying to defend the indefensible was, frankly, embarrassing. At least Allan tried to escape gravitational tug of this black hole of nonsense by pointing out that the need for more transparency from the CEC (War Room) and other recommendations, such as the need to invest in and collaborate on development of GHG measurement standards (thanks to KM in a response to the AB Politics blog yesterday for pointing this out). However, Allan is too close to this report, and his reputation is likely to ripped apart by the tidal forces created by black hole of nonsense.

    This report, along with the CEC, the Keystone XL pipeline investment, and silly referendum questions, was and is a huge waste of money. The government should stop spending money trying to gaslight its own citizens and the rest of the world. It is only causing the UCP government and the rest of Alberta, by extension, to be the objects of derision and worse. They should stop playing the victim card and, most importantly, stop the infantile whining. They need to grow up and start behaving like responsible adults. For the benefit of all, they need to give up their magical thinking and fantasy-fueled fever dreams of endless investment in fossil fuels and resource extraction, and come up with some actual, workable strategies that are informed by reality.

    Reply
  9. GregH

    October 22nd, 2021

    Great photo of Tom Olsen. My mom, who was the daughter of a coal mine manager near Foothills/Cadomin, would have said something like, “His eyes look like two pissholes in the snow.”

    Reply
    • David Climenhaga

      October 22nd, 2021

      Those are your blogger’s creepy fingers on his shoulder. Perhaps I was making him nervous. DJC

      Reply
      • tom in ontario

        October 22nd, 2021

        DJC’s dominating presence electrifies poor Mr. Olsen!

        Reply
  10. Mike J Danysh

    October 22nd, 2021

    I’d say Mr. Allen has burned his bridges with the UCP; another Old Tory who’s been personally soiled by Kenney’s stupidity and idiot-logical fixation on “fighting the Enemy.” However, Allen’s statement that “the lawyers told me not to discuss it” seems rather lame.

    Tom Olson’s defense spins like a gyroscope. He claims there’s been lots of action, but they haven’t tried to get any headlines from mainstream media lately (unless from Postmedia’s O&G cheerleaders, whom I refuse to read). There’s an impressive list of headlines on the web site; I wonder how many are initiatives of the War Room staff, and how many are borrowed from federal or provincial department initiatives? Then there’s the request for proposals the War Room issued a few months ago, trying to hire a professional PR firm to do what they manifestly cannot—talk up oil & gas in a positive way. And—37,000 people on their newsletter list? Less than 1% of Albertans. Is this a case of preaching to the choir?

    In fairness, I will grant Olson’s point on “continuous improvement” is correct. Improving on utter failure is easy.

    Sonya Savage? A desperate attempt to keep the Base stirred up. But she’s right that we should be upset. Just not with environment NGOs. The next step will be for the UCP Rage Machine ™ to grind out the usual “Everybody hates us” propaganda.

    Reply
    • Abs

      October 22nd, 2021

      I have to admit that I took more than a bit of glee from Brock Harrison’s attack on a TikTok by Emma Deady. Deady went to Times Square in New York and held up a crappy cardboard sign reading “Friendly oil does not exist. Say no to Canadian oil and gas,” in front of the CEC’s $100,000 billboard in lights. The video was posted to Twitter and tagged the CEC stating, “Sorry I didn’t have the same tax dollars to waste on a sign in Manhattan.” Harrison replied and lost his war of words with Deady. Yet another anger machine fail. Deady sets the bait, and the hapless UCP fall for it every time. What will she do next? What will they do next? Maybe choose battles carefully? Don’t count on it.

      Hint to UCP staffers, cabinet ministers and wives: don’t step into matters that are not your concern. You might bite off more than you can chew. It’s almost guaranteed.

      Reply
  11. Jimmy

    October 22nd, 2021

    Oh dear. The provincial cabinet continues to regularly and spectacularly fail. Yesterday energy minister Savage provided the world audience with another display of petulance. An earthquake in the constituency of parks and environment minister Nixon failed to generate a response from him. This is the individual who referred to a proposed Bighorn Wildlife Provincial Park as a ‘foreign funded plot to wall off the back country to Albertans who call the region home’. Got to watch out for those foreigners, Bigfoot too. Maybe there’s a collective paranoia afflicting UCP members, one that they are trying to share with and spread to the general population. This would help understand Savage’s admission to being mad. Last month we witnessed how a journalist’s ‘another very good question’ appeared to deliver a body blow to former health minister Shandro that preceded a portfolio change to one requiring less exposure to questions from the press.
    These are the cream the premier’s crop, or more likely just represent its’ loyal remnants. There is a UCP leadership review expected to take place next spring. Expect the date not to coincide with the Ides of March

    Reply
  12. alkyl

    October 22nd, 2021

    In other words, more dog whistles, gaslighting, and snake oil is required in order to continue perpetuating the delusions of the delusional. The politcal playbook and the political sales men/women themselves demand(s) that the targeted audience always be given what they desire, in order to confirm what the targeted audience already mistakenly believes to be ‘true’, Therefore:

    “Never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.”

    The UCP is fully aware of who their targeted audience is and how to ‘play-to-the-crowd’, that is, “To act, behave, or perform in such a way as to receive as much approval from an audience or group of spectators as one can get, especially the lowest common denominator therein.”

    Apparently, past history suggests that it works every time and that is why it is a heavily relied upon and successful political deception.

    Reply
  13. Just Me

    October 22nd, 2021

    It would be interesting if Allan’s criticism of the War Room’s antics as being damaging to the Alberta government’s reputation gives Kenney the ammo he desperately needs to abolish the War Room. Then, he can throw Allan under the bus for being the one who got one of Kenney’s best ideas canned.

    Spending $3.5 M to kill a $30 M bad idea. Has all the marks of another one of Premier Crying & Screaming Midget’s gambles.

    Reply
  14. Former Albertan

    October 22nd, 2021

    Mr Allan actually has not written a total fiction then. The piece that is self evident is $50 million or so spent on anti—Alberta energy activities is pittance. The seven sisters without a doubt spend more in a day advertising their super swoosh gas. No wonder he can’t manufacture a plot worth pee all.

    And yes Sonya you do have every right to be mad, as in crazy. It’s fairly obvious you can’t read the report and interpret what it says realistically. That is the very definition of being mentally ill, or in common parlance mad. Perhaps Alberta Hospital Edmonton has a bed for you?

    Reply
  15. Scotty on Denman

    October 22nd, 2021

    Outstanding in the field of free ranging opinion was minister Savage’s rejoinder, just a few times but outstanding nonetheless, that the report’s crestfelling findings “don’t matter” because, no matter what, “Albertan’s have been hurt” by the Anti-Alberta Energy campaign that the report clearly reiterates never happened.

    With cabinet puppets-in-private-disguise sitting on the board of this abject failure at Orwellian same-old-speak, it’s little wonder the report was granted so many extensions, presumably to hammer the rankling wrinkles of truth out of it, and, ultimately, that there was conspicuous delay after finally it was submitted for the people’s cabinet to consider adding to the frothing, fretful ingredients of the UCP government’s fruitcake of calamities. As recipes go, it’s as tasteful as folding diced durian into the batter bowl: it’s not poison, but there’s no mistaking it’s in there.

    Striking is the kindly ‘out’ commissioner Allan managed to concoct for his hapless employers to counter, if not balance, the remainder of the report, which is surprisingly professional—at least for those who estimated the commissioner was cynically in league with the real masters of mendacity: much of the problem, he generously opined, was really about appearances and branding of the inquiry as a “War Room” which, he outlined, had the unfortunate effect on most citizens who felt the thing, whatever it was called, would only find windmills to tilt at. However credible this trite misassignation of blame, citizens did, as it turns out, estimate correctly: the whole thing was public money well-wasted. Notwithstanding, Allan was wise to preserve as much of his professional reputation as possible by eschewing the rote his employers plainly wanted.

    The real irony is not Savage’s pathetic rendering but, rather, the grand and expensive detour around the common-sense perceptions that there is no conspiracy to protect American oil interests by beggaring Alberta bitumen, no lying environmentalists (despite Allan’s innuendo that, while they safely didn’t break any lawful letters, they were clever enough not to leave any green fingerprints in cracking the spirit of the allegation), no black-Stetsoned JT with Cordite smoke streaming from both barrels of his shotgun-wedded TMX, only the steamless, tangle-free fur of a cartoon Sasquatch—all gathered under the ringing crack of a dismissive gavel. Savage, on the other hand, simply ended up blaming everybody or anybody for her province’s and/or her party’s problems, meaning she didn’t get back to where she started from, like Dorothy and Toto to Kansas, but never really left the position she’s always held—going to great pains to reassure us—ever since her long, kerosene education in the privates of Big Oil.

    So, for a few million public dollars, Albertans shall be relieved to know that it just “doesn’t matter” if there’s evidence or not, Alberta’s problems should be blamed on every- and anything except unfavourable bitumen market-price or the UCP government.

    Certainly Savage, the rest of her caucus and party would be relieved to think it was really true. Because, if it were, it’d sure come in handy against the litany of other problems plaguing the province.

    But for now, there’s plenty more stuff for the UCP to digest, the War Room Report seeming but a slight dyspepsia in comparison.

    Set ‘em up and knock ‘em down, my Alberta friends! And while things are looking up, remember to stay safe.

    Reply
  16. Keith McClary

    October 22nd, 2021

    Edmonton Journal – Opinion:
    “David Staples: We can’t trust what Canadian green groups say if we don’t know who is paying them to say it”

    I guess we can trust Staples, since we know who is paying him.

    Reply
    • Bob Raynard

      October 23rd, 2021

      Keith, you have raised a point that has been at the back of my mind for a while now. We KNOW that climate denying organizations have big bucks out there to finance the denying of climate change. Even Jason’s War Room has acknowledged it. What we don’t know, is where that money goes. When I read something denying climate change by David Staples, or Danielle Smith, am I reading their true opinion, or have they (or their employer) been paid for it?

      Reply
  17. A little bird

    October 22nd, 2021

    Anyone who wants to watch the Minister fumble the question with the New York Times, here’s the link: https://youtu.be/9cSZL62l-d4?t=2895

    Personally I like that she’s so shocked and intimidated she appears to take two steps back from the podium when she hears the words “New York Times” It’s really quite beautiful.

    Reply
    • pogo

      October 22nd, 2021

      Bear with me as I have poorly rehearsed supporting orchestra! Halt! Hold fire! Sing Along! https://youtu.be/R1dy44jV8EM

      I am the very model of a modern Major-General
      I’ve information vegetable, animal, and mineral
      I know the kings of England, and I quote the fights historical
      From Marathon to Waterloo, in order categorical

      I’m very well acquainted, too, with matters mathematical
      I understand equations, both the simple and quadratical
      About binomial theorem I’m teeming with a lot o’ news
      With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse

      With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse
      With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse
      With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotepotenuse

      I’m very good at integral and differential calculus
      I know the scientific names of beings animalculous
      In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral
      I am the very model of a modern Major-General

      In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral
      He is the very model of a modern Major-General

      I know our mythic history, King Arthur’s and Sir Caradoc’s
      I answer hard acrostics, I’ve a pretty taste for paradox
      I quote in elegiacs all the crimes of Heliogabalus
      In conics I can floor peculiarities parabolous

      I can tell undoubted Raphaels from Gerard Dows and Zoffanies
      I know the croaking chorus from the Frogs of Aristophanes
      Then I can hum a fugue of which I’ve heard the music’s din afore
      And whistle all the airs from that infernal nonsense Pinafore

      And whistle all the airs from that infernal nonsense Pinafore
      And whistle all the airs from that infernal nonsense Pinafore
      And whistle all the airs from that infernal nonsense Pinapinafore

      Then I can write a washing bill in Babylonic cuneiform
      And tell you ev’ry detail of Caractacus’s uniform
      In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral
      I am the very model of a modern Major-General

      In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral
      He is the very model of a modern Major-General

      In fact, when I know what is meant by “mamelon” and “ravelin”
      When I can tell at sight a Mauser rifle from a javelin
      When such affairs as sorties and surprises I’m more wary at
      And when I know precisely what is meant by “commissariat”

      When I have learnt what progress has been made in modern gunnery
      When I know more of tactics than a novice in a nunnery
      In short, when I’ve a smattering of elemental strategy
      You’ll say a better Major-General had never sat a gee

      You’ll say a better Major-General had never sat a gee
      You’ll say a better Major-General had never sat a gee
      You’ll say a better Major-General had never sat a sat a gee

      For my military knowledge, though I’m plucky and adventury
      Has only been brought down to the beginning of the century
      But still, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral
      I am the very model of a modern Major-General

      But still, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral
      He is the very model of a modern Major-General

      Reply
  18. pogo

    October 22nd, 2021

    There was never an insult to what is left of my sanity like this. I feel it’s appropriate in a strange way that celebrates the success of of stupidity! I have always advocated for brain damage! I stand in a wind of insanity! https://youtu.be/ltAfEXce7Jk?t=2

    Reply
    • Abs

      October 22nd, 2021

      POGO, the screeching distracted me. Is that old Phil on drums?

      Reply
      • pogo

        October 24th, 2021

        They told me the screeching and the finger nails drawn slowly down a chalk board, were features, not bugs!

        Reply
  19. brett

    October 22nd, 2021

    My guess is that Steve Allan is embarrassed to have his name associated with this document.

    He did try to put some lipstick on this pig however it is still a PIG of a document.

    I can well understand why Steve Allan and Jason Kenney were nowhere to be seen during the press release.

    From my perspective it is an illustration of the emptiness of the UPC brain trust.

    Reply
  20. Anonymous

    October 22nd, 2021

    This report turned out to be a dud. What else can you expect from these pretend conservatives and Reformers? The truth is something they don’t see very well.

    Reply
  21. Mark

    October 22nd, 2021

    These self proclaimed “protectors” of the public purse. John Cleese himself couldn’t deliver this sh!t with a straight face.

    Reply
  22. Just Me

    October 23rd, 2021

    One would have thought that if Kenney was going to pay for a commission report, he would at least have assured that it was the report he wanted. Isn’t someone who’s inclined to shenanigans of one form or another likely to doctor-up anything to make it the way they want it? I guess Bumbles isn’t capable of that kind of foresight.

    The vision of the UCP kicking themselves with their two left feet is provocative enough. But it could also be included that they were poking themselves in their eyes with their thumbs while they were doing it.

    Reply
    • pogo

      October 24th, 2021

      What needs to happen is a transition from unconscious “consumers” to wide awake and aware participants in the moment and the future! What some people don’t want; is an orderly move to mitigate devastation. Typical. Especially given their track record, but certainly, it was never unpredictable! Are we too stupid? Lazy? It remains to be seen. I wouldn’t bet or guess that anyone really understands which side of this one way street they’re on! https://youtu.be/mA8iToyblns?t=9

      Reply
  23. Murphy

    October 26th, 2021

    There is no reason to believe that Tailgunner Jay has the faintest notion about the energy industry in Alberta nor anywhere else. His supporters are the kind of folks who have been afraid of “those outside agitators” for a very long time. Their War on Alberta Energy Haters isn’t much different than any other war in terms of the casus belli being rooted in reality. Those closed door affairs with exotic dancers and oceans of hooch in Calgary over the last seventy-five years provided ideal conditions for the oil and gas Man’s Men to indulge in the inhalation of their own emissions, and the result is some woefully ignorant, entitled and angry bougiemen forming a paranoid and hostile John Frum oil cult.
    Meanwhile, the chickens of 2008 are crashing through the windows and the kinder, gentler neoliberal “progressives” remain at a total loss as to how to manage the unruly and, to a growing degree, unemployed masses.
    The Quantitative Easing deep cool bailouts of 2008-2014 were nothing compared to the pure speedball injections given to the failed financial system beginning in October 2019. The shut-down of the global economy in March, 2020, while allowing the banks to surf that high, like any hostage stand-off, will have to be brought to an end at some point.
    Fracking has been exposed as the Ponzi scheme it is; Albertan and Venezuelan tar cannot take the place of cheap oil in the consumer economy, and the relentless march of automation in the digital world continues to reduce surplus value as workers are less and less able to consume the increased productivity of industry.
    The banks put a gun to the head of the US Congress in 2008, literally threatening to produce conditions requiring martial law if they did not get their fix, and Congress caved. There aren’t adequate resources outside of emergency conditions to keep the financial system afloat now, so it’s time for Authoritarian Capitalism to replace the predatory Neoliberal Capitalism of the last forty years.
    The Used Car Hindenburg is definitely going to hit the ground in the next election, but the Neoliberal Deception Plan will be hard-pressed to give us anything but a delicious heaping helping of austerity given the prevailing global conditions.
    Do they make a mask that can block late-stage capitalism fumes?

    Reply

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