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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney stands outside and speaks into a microphone.

Photo by Government of Alberta, via Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND2.0)

press release

Climate denier reports underscore Alberta inquiry’s illegitimacy

January 14, 2021

CALGARY/TERRITORIES OF THE BLACKFOOT AND PEOPLES OF TREATY 7, HOME TO MÉTIS NATION OF ALBERTA, REGION III – The latest update from the commissioner of Alberta’s “Public Inquiry into Anti-Alberta Energy Campaigns” includes climate denier reports and underscores the inquiry’s total lack of legitimacy, Ecojustice says.

An “Engagement Process Update,” posted on the inquiry’s website, shows Allan commissioned reports and referred to material from a known climate denier, an oil industry group, and other climate skeptics, all under the guise of the inquiry process. In a blog published Thursday, University of Calgary law professor Martin Olszynski describes the contents of the reports as “textbook climate denialism.”

Devon Page, executive director of Ecojustice, issued the following statement in response to the latest update on Alberta’s controversial public inquiry:

“The fact Commissioner Steve Allan thought it relevant to commission and consult reports denying the reality of the climate crisis is just another example of how deeply flawed and biased Premier Jason Kenney’s inquiry into so-called ‘anti-Alberta’ campaigns is.

“The climate crisis is real. It is caused by human activity and it poses a significant threat to the wellbeing of all Albertans. The Kenney government should be working to address this by reducing emissions and creating green jobs – not spending taxpayers’ time and money on reports that deny the crisis while also pursuing a political witch hunt against the very organizations and individuals who speak out about it.

“Next month, Ecojustice will appear in court to argue that the government brought the inquiry for improper, political purposes and that the proceedings give the perception of bias and unfairness. We hope the judge will agree and strike down the inquiry’s Terms of Reference.

“Regardless of that outcome, however, Commissioner Allan has already demonstrated time and again that Albertans should not take his findings seriously. If it wasn’t already obvious, the commissioner’s latest update of climate denier reports makes it clear: This inquiry lacks any shred of credibility.”

Ecojustice lawyers are scheduled to appear in the Alberta Court of Queen’s bench for a hearing on the Alberta Inquiry on Feb. 11 and Feb. 12, 2021.

Ecojustice uses the power of the law to defend nature, combat climate change, and fight for a healthy environment. Its strategic, public interest lawsuits and advocacy lead to precedent-setting court decisions and law and policy that deliver lasting solutions to Canada’s most urgent environmental problems. As Canada’s largest environmental law charity, Ecojustice operates offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, and Halifax.