On December 11, the Alberta government of Jason Kenney launched its “rapid-response war room” – deceptively called the Canadian Energy Centre – using $30 million to argue for the benefits of the oil and gas industry and attack any criticism as “misinformation”. By January 6, in an article in the Edmonton Journal, the provincial NDP party reviews the agency’s performance to date and calls for it to be shut down. Chris Turner also describes the inept launch of the CEC in an Opinion piece in the National Observer, calling it a “$30 million bonfire”, and the criticism reaches its peak in “The Silly, Scary Truth about Alberta’s New Ministry of Truth” by Andrew Nikoforuk in The Tyee (Jan. 1) .
Despite the ridicule and criticism it has earned, the publicly-funded Canadian Energy Centre continues to post supportive, good news stories about Teck’s Frontier oil sands mine, the Trans Mountain pipeline, Enbridge Line 3, Coastal GasLink, and more – using its Twitter account with almost 5,000 followers, Facebook, and its web site . Readers should be aware that in an unguarded moment in an interview with Global News, CEO Tom Olsen explained: “We are not about attacking, we are about disproving true facts.”