"Big Oil's Oily Grasp": Polaris Institute Documents Harper Government Entanglement with Tar Sands Lobby - 2012-12-05
Oil industry lobbyists in Canada have taken the country by the reins. At least, that's the implication of the Polaris Institute's new report released today. The report, "Big Oil's Oily Grasp – The Making of Canada as a Petro-State and How Oil Money is Corrupting Canadian Politics," (pdf) documents 2,733 meetings held between the oil industry and federal government officials since 2008. That figure outstrips meetings with environmental organizations by a whopping 463 percent.
"Canada's increasing dependence on the export of bitumen to the United States has, in effect, served to redefine this nation in the form of a petro-state," the report opens. Lobbying activities in Ottawa may help explain why "the Canadian government has increasingly watered down or withdrawn its role and responsibilities to regulate the economic, environmental and social impacts of the tar sands industry."
The report highlights the spike in lobbying activities – of six major Big Oil players including Enbridge and TransCanada – in the period between September 2011 and September 2012, right when the industry-friendly omnibus budget Bill C-38 made its infamous debut. In that same period of time, the federal government met once with Greenpeace.