News Release from Canada Action
We are very excited to share some recent and encouraging polling results today. According to a July 2021 public opinion survey conducted by Research Co, new data shows that Canada’s public perception of our responsible energy industry is very positive.
Here are some of the key findings:
- Almost three in four (73 percent) Canadians polled agree Canada should be a preferred global supplier of energy because of its climate and environmental record.
- Nearly seven in ten (69 percent) say they have personally benefited from the oil and gas sector.
- 70 percent agree that resource development could help alleviate systemic poverty within Indigenous communities.
- Two thirds of Canadians (66 percent) support Canada’s role as a global oil and gas supplier.
- Almost three in four Canadians (73 percent) acknowledge Canada’s prosperity is supported by the oil and gas sector and that Canadian oil and gas production helps fund important social programs like health care and education.
Referring to the fact 73 percent of Canadians polled also agreed it’s essential First Nations be included in project development to establish long-term revenue sources for their communities, JP Gladu, acting Executive Director of Indigenous Resource Network, noted the following:
Taken collectively, this is all exceptional news for all of Canada’s natural resource industries. Your support for our positive, fact based message about why the world needs more Canadian energy and resources is helping make a difference.
A new public opinion survey conducted by Research Co. on behalf of Canada Action has found that a majority of Canadians across the country support the vital oil and gas sector! The poll, released on July 14th, showed that 68% of participants ‘agree’ that Canada should be the choice supplier to meet future oil and gas demand, while two-thirds (66%) support Canada’s role as a global oil and gas supplier versus just 19% who were opposed.
Additionally, almost three in four Canadians (73%) acknowledged Canada’s prosperity is supported by the oil and gas sector and that the industry helps fund important social programs such as healthcare and education.
“It’s a strong and very welcome result, and one that shows most Canadians feel proud of the work their energy sector is doing to enhance its record on ESG criteria. The results also show most Canadians believe the world needs more Canadian energy and are aware of the importance of the sector to the prosperity of families and communities right across the country,” said Cody Battershill, Canada Action founder.
Between 2000 and 2018, approximately $493 billion in government revenues were generated by Canada’s oil and gas industry, capital which has been used pay for schools, hospitals, roads and the workers that make these projects possible/operational. Every Canadian has benefitted from oil and gas in some way, shape, or form; nearly seven-in-ten Canadians (69%) of participants also acknowledged that Canada’s oil and gas sector has benefitted them personally.
Nearly three-in-four Canadians (73%) also agreed that global markets should prioritize jurisdictions like Canada that are leaders in climate action and environmental protection. This is a logical choice as Canada’s oil and gas industry ranks number one for Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices among nations with the largest oil reserves, and of the world’s top 20 producers, 2nd for governance and social progress and 4th on the environment.
“Given the world requires $525 billion of new oil and gas investment per year just to meet current demand, we think we ought to push for Canada to receive a sizeable share of this investment,” Battershill added.
Canada’s world-class ESG performance shows that our nation is home to one of the most environmentally conscious and sustainable oil and gas industries in the world. With future supply gaps on the horizon, it only makes sense that ESG-focussed investors look to Canada as a choice supplier for as long as the world needs oil – and it will for many decades to come.
73% of participants also agreed that it’s essential First Nations be included in project development to establish long-term revenue sources for their communities.
“These are heartening results. Indigenous nations and businesses want to be partners in resource development. This poll shows there’s widespread support to work together for the benefit of all,” said JP Gladu, acting Executive Director of the Indigenous Resource Network.
Below is a summary of all poll results collected by Research Co.
– Two-thirds of Canadians (66%) support Canada’s role as a global oil and gas supplier, while one-in-five (19%) are opposed
– Almost seven-in-ten Canadians (69%) say the oil and gas industry has benefitted them personally
– Almost three-in-four Canadians (73%) agree that global markets should prioritize jurisdictions like Canada that are leaders in climate action and environmental protection
– Almost three-in-four Canadians (73%) agree that Canadian oil and gas products help fund important social programs like healthcare and education for Canadians
– More than seven-in-ten Canadians (72%) agree that sustainability measures are better served when energy is sourced from Canada compared to less environmentally friendly jurisdictions
– Seven-in-ten Canadians (70%) agree that Canada should be the choice recipient of investments due to its climate leadership and environmental policies
– More than two-thirds of Canadians (68%) agree that Canada should be the choice supplier to meet future oil and gas demand
– Over three-in-five Canadians (64%) agree that investing in Canada’s oil and gas sector makes sense if you value climate leadership, social progress and transparency
– Fewer than half of Canadians (45%) were aware that Canada is a leader for environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices among countries with the largest oil and gas reserves
– More than two-in-five Canadians (43%) were aware that Canadian energy companies are global leaders in carbon capture, utilization and storage
– Just over two-in-five Canadians (41%) were aware that Canadian natural gas exported to Asia can reduce global emissions by displacing coal power usage
– Almost three-in-four Canadians (73%) agree that global markets should prioritize jurisdictions like Canada that are leaders in climate leadership and environmental protection
– Almost three-in-four Canadians (73%) agree that Canada should be a destination of choice for energy investment due to its climate leadership, worker safety and environmental policies
– More than two-thirds of Canadians (68%) agree that Canada should be the choice supplier to meet future oil and gas demand
– Almost three-in-four Canadians (74%) think Canada should act in a similar fashion to Norway when it comes to energy practices, as the nation has said they will continue to maximize the value created from their oil and gas reserves
– Almost three-in-four Canadians (73%) agree that Canada’s prosperity is supported by the oil and gas sector practices
– Almost three-in-four Canadians (73%) agree that it is essential that First Nations be included in project development to establish long-term revenue sources for their communities
– Seven-in-ten Canadians (70%) agree that Systemic poverty within Indigenous communities could be alleviated with resource development
– Almost seven-in-ten Canadians (69%) agree that Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in Canada should play a role in supplying our energy to meet domestic and global demands
– More than half of Canadians (56%) agree with the decision related to the TMX expansion, while one-in-five (21%) disagree, and a similar proportion (22%) are undecided. Support for the decision is highest in Alberta and Atlantic Canada (each at 63%), followed by Ontario (57%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (56%), British Columbia (55%) and Quebec (52%)
– Over three-in-five Canadians (62%) think the Indigenous communities support the Trans Mountain Pipeline (TMX) project
– More than three-in-ten Canadians (31%) are more likely to support the Trans Mountain expansion upon learning of the views of Indigenous communities, while 7% are less likely to support. More than two-in-five (47%) say their position has not changed as a result of this fact
Results were based on an online study among 1,000 adults in Canada, conducted July 7 to 9, 2021 and weighted for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.
Join Us Today!
Back to Energy – Canada Action
Alberta promising changes to campuses amid university ‘woke’ free speech standoff
By Dean Bennett in Edmonton
The Alberta government says changes are coming to further protect free speech on campuses as a former professor speaking out on so-called “woke” policies prepares for a showdown with the University of Lethbridge.
Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides says he plans to announce the changes in the coming days but did not give details.
He was responding to the case of Frances Widdowson, a former tenured professor at Calgary’s Mount Royal University, who was invited then disinvited to speak on campus this week about her concerns that a mob mentality and “woke policies” increasingly threaten academic freedom.
Widdowson has previously come under fire for her comments on residential schools.
“I understand past comments made by this speaker are controversial,” Nicolaides said in a statement Tuesday.
“But I believe it is important for our universities and colleges to foster a strong culture of free speech and diverse viewpoints, even when those viewpoints are deemed controversial, or even offensive, barring speech intended to incite hatred or violence of course.”
Widdowson, asked about Nicolaides’ comment, said in an interview: “I think that’s great.
“I think we need a public inquiry about what’s happening at universities.
“The universities are being run by woke activists who are completely opposed to the open and honest discussion of ideas on campus.”
Widdowson was fired from Mount Royal in late 2021 amid controversy over comments she made lauding the educational benefits of Canada’s residential school system while questioning whether abuses at the schools against Indigenous children equated to “cultural genocide,” as described in the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
Widdowson was invited by a professor to speak Wednesday and the University of Lethbridge granted space for the event.
About 2,500 students signed a petition pushing back on the university for hosting the speech.
University president Mike Mahon, as late as last Thursday, defended the decision to host Widdowson, citing free speech even if the university did not agree with her views.
However, on Monday, Mahon said after further consultation the offer of space was revoked because Widdowson’s views would not advance the residential schools discussion and would cause harm by minimizing the pain and suffering inflicted on First Nations children and families.
“It is clear that the harm associated with this talk is an impediment to meaningful reconciliation,” said Mahon in a statement.
Widdowson said she plans to deliver her speech in a public atrium on the campus Wednesday afternoon and has challenged school security to toss her out.
“I’ve never denied the harm of the residential schools,” she told The Canadian Press.
“People are distorting what I’m saying about it. My issue is residential schools were not genocidal. (They) were a misguided effort which often had serious problems.”
“I’ve been branded as some kind of hate monger,” she added. “I’m just arguing if we want to create a better world for everyone, a more co-operative world, we have to be able to speak truthfully about issues that matter.”
Opposition NDP Leader Rachel Notley said Nicolaides is being distressingly tone-deaf and needs to reconsider his statements.
“The idea of having someone come and speak at the university … to a student body that consists of many Indigenous students about how they somehow benefited from residential schools is deeply troubling to me,” Notley told reporters.
“That the (United Conservative Party government) doesn’t understand how incredibly hurtful those ideas are to huge swaths of the Alberta population reveals their lack of understanding about the real experiences and traumas that treaty people in Alberta have been subjected to.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 31, 2023.
Alberta landowners fear repeat of orphan well crisis as renewable energy booms
By Amanda Stephenson in Calgary
Once bitten, twice shy.
It’s an old adage that explains why Jason Schneider, the elected reeve of Vulcan County, Alta., is jittery about the renewable energy boom under way in his province.
Like many in rural Alberta, Schneider is still smarting over the way municipalities were left holding the bag when an oil price crash nearly a decade ago resulted in billions of dollars of unfunded liabilities left behind by bankrupt fossil fuel companies.
In Vulcan County alone, the landscape is littered with hundreds of wells with no owners that need to be cleaned up, and the municipality itself is owed more than $9 million in back taxes left unpaid by insolvent oil and gas firms.
So Schneider has a hard time looking at acre upon acre of massive wind turbines or solar panels without fearing a repeat of Alberta’s orphan well crisis, or wondering who’s going to fix everything if something goes wrong.
“These are large industrial developments, and the reclamation costs are going to be substantial,” he said.
“We can see the warning signs, and we are being ignored.”
Across rural Alberta, concerns are growing about the long-term implications of the province’s renewable energy boom — the speed and scale of which has been nothing short of stunning.
A province that not that long ago was largely reliant on coal for electricity, Alberta is now home to more than 3,800 MW of wind and solar capacity, 1,350 of which came online in just the last 12 months. An additional 1,800 MW of capacity is currently under construction, putting the province on track to meet or exceed the target it set in 2016 to generate 30 per cent of its total electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
In Schneider’s Vulcan County, which is home to both the country’s largest solar farm and one of Western Canada’s largest wind farms, renewable energy developments now account for more than 40 per cent of the local tax base, displacing oil and gas as the number one source of revenue for the local municipal government.
But while many in rural Alberta welcome the economic activity, and farmers and ranchers enjoy the extra income that playing host to solar panels or wind turbines can bring, others are sounding the alarm.
For example, the Rural Municipalities of Alberta recently passed a resolution calling on the provincial government to protect taxpayers from incurring costs associated with the potential decommissioning of renewable energy infrastructure.
Specifically, the association wants to see the government mandate the collection of securities for reclamation from developers before a project goes ahead. That way, municipalities won’t be footing the bill if a developer becomes insolvent and walks away.
“What we’ve learned, and what Albertans have learned, is that the cheapest way to get out of reclamation is going bankrupt,” said Paul McLauchlin, president of the Rural Municipalities of Alberta.
“Some of these solar installations are being installed by one company, sold to another company … I talked to a gentleman who’s on his fifth owner, and his solar installation has been there maybe two years. So we’re seeing small companies owning these, and whether they have the wherewithal for reclamation, that’s really what’s driving this conversation.”
In Alberta, the Orphan Well Association is an industry-funded organization tasked with decommissioning old oil and gas infrastructure and returning the land to its prior state. (It’s currently backlogged, in spite of a $200 million loan from the federal government. In 2020, the feds also provided $1 billion for well clean-up to active companies under Alberta’s Site Rehabilitation Program.)
But there’s no equivalent for the renewable energy industry, though renewable energy companies are required to provide an overview of how they plan to cover decommissioning and reclamation costs before they can receive the go-ahead for their project.
However, for a landowner, entering into a wind or solar lease is entirely voluntary. That’s very different from oil and gas, where under Alberta law, property owners are not allowed to refuse companies seeking to develop the fossil fuels that lie under the surface of their land.
Evan Wilson, director of policy and government affairs for the Canadian Renewable Energy Association, said that because solar and wind leases remain private civil contracts between the developer and the landowner, the onus is on the landowner to ensure the inclusion of some kind of provision to mitigate risks associated with the project’s end-of-life.
But he added many companies do offer landowners some form of reclamation commitment, either in the form of a letter of credit or bond.
“Landowners do have the ability to veto these projects being built on their land,” Wilson said.
“So that puts a lot of pressure on our members to ensure that landowners do feel comfortable with the terms.”
Sara Hastings-Simon, an expert in energy, innovation and climate policy at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, said it’s understandable that municipalities have concerns.
However, she said it’s odd that there’s a push to enforce new regulations for the renewable sector, when the scope of the orphan well problem shows the oil and gas regulatory system could also use an overhaul.
According to the Alberta Energy Regulator, there are more than 83,000 inactive oil and gas wells in the province currently, and close to 90,000 more that have been sealed and taken out of service, but not yet fully remediated.
A report released last year by the Parliamentary Budget Officer estimated that the cost of orphan well clean-up in Canada will reach $1.1 billion by 2025.
“Obviously we need to make sure that all of our industrial development is done in a way that doesn’t offload costs to the public,” Hastings-Simon said.
“But it would make a lot of sense for the province to look at energy development holistically, rather than just picking the one that right now perhaps has more growth.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 29, 2023.
NHL’s New Woke Agenda Is A Pucking Mess
Premier Smith asks CBC and opposition NDP to apologize for “defamatory” article
CP NewsAlert: Quebec woman pleads guilty in mailing of poison to Trump
Amid neck hold controversy, Ottawa questioned about methods it wants RCMP to outlaw
Alberta halts rate hikes on auto insurance for private passenger vehicles for 2023
Ritchie, Rehkopf lift White to win in CHL’s top prospects game
Coastal GasLink fined again for sediment, erosion in pipeline work
COVID-192 days ago
WHO decides the COVID-19 global emergency isn’t over
Alberta11 hours ago
U.S. launches second USMCA dispute panel as dairy battle with Canada goes to Round 2
Top Story CP16 hours ago
Canadian Press NewsAlert: Canadian economy grew by 0.1% in November
Top Story CP2 days ago
CP NewsAlert: Hockey Hall of Fame Bobby Hull dies at 84
Business2 days ago
Federal departments failed to spend $38B on promised programs, services last year
Top Story CP13 hours ago
Toronto pop star the Weeknd tops Juno Awards nominations with six nods
Top Story CP1 day ago
Vancouver Canucks trade captain Bo Horvat to New York Islanders
Alberta1 day ago
Popular roller-coaster at West Edmonton Mall amusement park to be removed