Big Oil has always been behind Stephen Harper's agenda. That was made clear once again this week when the RCMP revealed details into accusations against Bruce Carson, the disbarred lawyer who used to work in Harper's PMO. Linda McQuaig writes:
In these new RCMP allegations, however, Carson was working for the Energy Policy Institute of Canada (EPIC), described in the media as a “non-profit group formed by business organizations in the energy sector.”
This rather benign description fails to convey what EPIC really is: a lobbying vehicle for dozens of extremely wealthy, powerful fossil fuel companies, including Enbridge, Imperial Oil, Shell, Suncor and Irving Oil, as well as the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers — all hell-bent on developing Alberta’s tar sands.
The important story here isn’t the alleged illegal lobbying behaviour of Carson (who is banned from lobbying for five years after serving in government). The real story is the reception he receives when, now representing Big Oil, he approaches the top man in the PMO, Nigel Wright, someone he doesn’t know personally, with a document laying out what Big Oil wants.
According to emails disclosed by the RCMP, Wright promises to read the document over the weekend, and urges Carson to “feel free to give me a call at any time."
And, when Carson reported back to Doug Black, the founding president of EPIC, Carson got this response:
“Excellent. Need Nigel on side,” responded Black (who is now a Conservative senator, of all things).
And you thought Stephen Harper was working for you? McQuaig writes:
Even as climate disasters occur with growing frequency — including the worst flooding in Serbia in a century, killing 43 people this week — the Harper government relentlessly promotes Big Oil’s development plans, guts our environmental review processes and aggressively audits environmental groups, muzzles government scientists and undermines international UN-sponsored efforts to rein in climate change.
Mr. Harper is shilling for oil.