A pumpjack works at a well head on an oil and gas installation near Cremona, Alta., Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. International trade experts say it’s a pipe dream to think the landlocked oil-producing western provinces would have an easier time getting their product to international markets if they were to split from Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Fossil fuel industry tops the list of lobbyist groups in Ottawa: report

Report recommends creating office to advocate for climate change action

The fossil fuel industry’s lobbying transcends governments and is more common than that of other groups, a new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives suggests.

The report, released Tuesday by the left-leaning Ottawa-based think tank, looked at lobbying of the federal government by the fossil fuels field between 2o11 and 2018.

Nicolas Graham, co-author and University of Victoria lecturer, said the time range helped researchers compare the lobbying of government under two different prime ministers: Conservative Stephen Harper and Liberal Justin Trudeau.

Oil and gas lobbyists focused on elected officials more under Harper, and more on senior public servants or mid-level staff when Trudeau was in office.

Graham said that could be because a Conservative government is typically more sympathetic to oil and gas interests.

“The main people to be targeted are people who are seen as allies or closely on board, or people who are potentially fence-sitting.”

When the Liberals took over, the oil and gas lobby continued targeting bureaucrats with whom it already had a connection, he said.

The report was part of the Corporate Mapping Project, which looks at the fossil fuel industry’s influence and compares it to three other industries – automotive industry, forestry and renewable energy – as well as to environmental groups.

“We did find that the fossil fuel industry was the far most active lobbyist,” he said, adding that organization calling for action on climate change were lobbying five times less.

“It is a very powerful economic sector,” he said. “There are also really high stakes for [that] industry at this point in time, around climate action questions, so they’re particularly active in lobbying.”

The current federal lobbyist’s registry is a good first step, he added, but it could be better if it had more information, such as finances and what’s discussed at meetings.

“We think that shining a light on lobbying a little bit more could be a way of limiting corporate influence and limiting the sense of backroom dealing.”

A watchdog-type model could help level the playing field, he suggested, and address how the system favours corporations.

READ MORE: ‘It’s terrifying’: B.C. teen leads effort to fight climate change

READ MORE: Oil would still be landlocked under ‘Wexit,’ experts say


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Photos: G7 Small Business Market

Grade 7 students in Vanderhoof developed and sold products at the small business market held Nov. 21.

Northern B.C. First Nation communities hold “Rally for the river” in Prince George

Saik’uz and Stellat’en First Nation have taken Rio Tinto BC Works to court over their operation and construction of the Kenney Dam

Houston homicide suspect remanded in custody

A Houston man accused of the second degree murder of Elija Dumont… Continue reading

Want better internet? Complete an online survey by the RDBN

The regional district is doing a survey to understand internet requirements that… Continue reading

Vikings played well this season, says coach

The double-A varsity football team from NVSS received ten northern conference All-Stars

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

Canucks erupt with 5 power-play goals in win over Nashville

Vancouver ends three-game slide with 6-3 triumph over Predators

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

B.C. widow suing health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed her husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Security guard at Kamloops music festival gets three years for sexually assaulting concertgoer

Shawn Christopher Gray walked the woman home after she became seperated from her friends, court heard

Algae bloom killing farmed fish on Vancouver Island’s West Coast

DFO says four Cermaq Canada salmon farms affected, fish not infectious

Most Read