Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Oilsands CEOs Take Federal Election Message to Voters in Full-Page Newspaper Ads

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Oilsands CEOs Take Federal Election Message to Voters in Full-Page Newspaper Ads

Article excerpt

Oilsands CEOs take election message to voters

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CALGARY - Three of Canada's biggest oilsands producers are going directly to voters today to ask them to "influence the outcome" of big decisions concerning the oil and gas sector as a fall federal election looms.

In full-page ads in about 30 English and French daily newspapers across Canada, the CEOs of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Cenovus Energy Inc. and MEG Energy Corp. ask readers to call on "leaders of all political stripes" to lend their support to the energy industry.

MEG Energy CEO Derek Evans says the campaign, a rare foray into the public realm for companies that usually prefer to speak through the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, is coming out in mid-summer because that's when politicians are meeting voters at barbecues and picnics.

The open letter agrees greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced but it defends the environmental record of the oilsands, contending that emissions intensity per barrel produced has fallen by about 30 per cent over the past two decades.

The letter says Canada's energy companies produce a product that continues to be needed despite the growth of renewable energy, adding that oil and gas producers are the country's single largest investors in clean energy technology.

Evans says the campaign is not partisan and he, for one, won't be unhappy if the Liberals are re-elected, despite their recent adoption -- against the advice of the oilpatch -- of Bill C-69 to revamp the way energy projects are approved and C-48 to ban oil tanker traffic on B.C.'s North Coast.

"It's not the governments that need to change, it's the message the people of the country send to those governments," he said.

"I'm fine with having Justin Trudeau as prime minister if he embraces a philosophy with respect to energy that says that Canada has a much larger role to play on the global stage and we need to encourage that part of our sector. …

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