The Anti-Everything Inquiry

An essential chapter of the fascist playbook is to blame foreign actors for your troubles. Poland, Hungary, and China do it today as a matter of official policy, as did America under Donald Trump.

But Alberta?

In July 2019, just three months after Jason Kenney’s United Conservatives defeated Rachel Notley’s NDPs to become Alberta’s ruling party, the new Premier announced a Public Inquiry into Anti-Alberta Energy Campaigns.

Exactly two years later, on July 30th last week, and after four missed deadlines, its commissioner, Steve Allan, delivered his final report. The Kenney government has 90 days to review it before releasing it to the public.

Both the inquiry and its fellow traveller, the Canadian Energy Centre, otherwise called the Energy War Room which spends $30 million to “fight misinformation related to oil and gas,” were big policy platforms of Kenney’s new party which won 63 out of 87 seats.

These initiatives have not gone well. The Globe and Mail got its hands on a preliminary draft of the public inquiry report, and concluded: “Unless he is holding back some truly explosive information for the final version, this inquiry will have amounted to a pathetic $3.5 million waste of money.”

This all began back in 2018 when Kenney spoke to the Manhattan Institute claiming that American interests wanted to cut Canada, and specifically Alberta, out of the gas business. He alleged the Yanks had set up fake social media accounts that ‘advocated for the complete abandonment of specific fuel sources, such as fossil fuels, by touting exaggerated claims about alternative energy sources.’

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