Posted on Jul 17, 2020


CALGARY -  Documents obtained by Global News raise new concerns that Jason Kenney and the UCP misled Albertans about the reason for suspending environmental monitoring during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These revelations are disturbing and further erode the trust Albertans put in this UCP government to keep them safe during this pandemic” said NDP Energy Critic Irfan Sabir. “The rationale from the UCP on the suspension of environmental monitoring never added up, and now we have even more reason to question their claims.”

The documents, including an AER briefing note dated April 20, 2020 suggest that the UCP succumbed to pressure from energy companies to suspend environmental monitoring and reporting requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic to address “purely economic issues,” not to protect public health as Jason Kenney, Jason Nixon, and the AER have claimed.

Laurie Pushor, a central figure in a land-deal scandal that cost the people of Saskatchewan millions of dollars, was appointed president and CEO of the AER earlier this year. 

“These kinds of backroom deals are exactly what the UCP bargained for when they appointed scandal-ridden Laurie Pushor to the top job of our energy regulating agency,” said Sabir. “If Jason Kenney wants to restore trust, he needs to immediately release all documents related to the decision to suspend environmental monitoring.”

Earlier this week, Jason Kenney drew criticism for appointing his former campaign manager and climate change denier, John Weissenberger as a VP at the AER. 

“Jason Kenney is creating a serious credibility problem for Alberta’s energy sector,” said Sabir. “He needs to clean this up before Alberta’s international reputation, and our ability to attract investment, is permanently damaged.”