“Our messages are not resonating,” Natural Resource Minister Greg Rickford told a room full of oil and gas executives in a luxury Rocky Mountain resort last fall. “You are fighting an uphill battle for public confidence.”
Rickford, who attended the meeting at the request of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), encouraged the executives to do more to spread the oil industry’s message to the Canadian public.
“Much of the debate over energy is characterized by myth or emotion,” he said, suggesting scientists and campaigners critical of development in the Alberta oilsands were “crowding out the real facts.”
Rickford made no mention of Canada’s international climate commitments, but he did deride concerns about pollution from the oilsands — the country’s fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions.
Rickford’s advice, released to Greenpeace via an Access to Information request, marked the beginning of a decisive shift in industry’s public relations campaigns.