During next month’s Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) convention, delegates from across the province will be considering a resolution calling for more action to counter foreign campaigns targeting Canadian oil and gas.
If approved, the resolution becomes part of the association’s advocacy efforts with government.
“While cross-border market competition and public relations marketing campaigns are an unavoidable reality in the energy sector, it is Strathcona County’s perspective that the best remedy for strong market competition and inaccurate public relations messaging affecting the Canadian energy sector is strong support and investment by the federal, provincial, and local governments,” states the proposed resolution.
“Comprehensive and relevant messaging by these important entities contributes to a more balanced public conversation in the marketplace and in political decision-making circles about the current and future impacts, disadvantage, and opportunities in Canada’s energy industry.”
If approved by a majority of delegates, Strathcona County’s proposed resolution would see AUMA advocate the Alberta government to further develop and implement a targeted, national education and marketing campaign on behalf of the province to offset “foreign protectionism and de-marketing campaigns, regulatory delays, and the combined infrastructure and economic factors” creating a significant, negative effect on local, provincial and national economies.
The proposed resolution suggests a “campaign has been evolving over the last decade with the strategy to landlock the oilsands and prevent it from reaching the international market where it could fetch a higher price per barrel.”
It adds that elements of a properly-resourced and evidence-based education and marketing initiative would include (among other things) promoting the world-leading environmental, humans rights and labour standards of Alberta’s energy sector and its national economic importance, as well as educating Canadians “on the unethical and hypocritical aspects of the energy de-marketing campaign.”
According to the proposed resolution, continuing the Petrochemicals Diversification Program, supporting key energy industry infrastructure development, and maintaining a strong presence and advocacy with all levels of government are all resources the province should provide to offset negative impacts on the energy industry.
In March, a majority (98.8 per cent) of Rural Municipalities Association delegates approved a similar resolution to the one proposed for AUMA. This year’s AUMA convention is in Edmonton, Sept. 25-27.