Harper Government Spent Millions to Push Tar Sands on First Nations

October 8, 2020 0 By JohnValbyNation

Solidifying the country’s reputation as a “true petrostate,” the government of Canada reportedly spent millions of taxpayer dollars on previously undisclosed tar sands lobbying activities, including a concerted push to ‘educate’ First Nations communities opposed to the toxic drilling projects.

According to a series of 2014 government policy documents obtained by a Greenpeace analyst via a Freedom of Information request, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s 2013 budget included $30 million to be invested over two years on a public relations campaign as well as domestic and international “outreach activities” to promote Alberta’s tar sands.

The Guardian‘s Martin Lukacs reports on Wednesday that “the outreach activities, which cost $4.5 million and were never publicly disclosed, included efforts to ‘advance energy literacy amongst [British Columbia] First Nations communities.'”

Further, “The documents indicate the government was funding dozens of projects between 2014 and 2015 to engage Indigenous communities and advance ‘Canada’s reputation as a global energy leader.'” When asked for comment, Natural Resources Canada declined to elaborate on the specific outreach projects.