When did Joe Oliver (“our”minister of Natural Resources) commit to become the tout for the tar sands and its necessary utility, the Keystone XL pipeline? One cannot be certain but, by July 5 of 2012, the Minister and the fossil fuel industry had agreed on “priorities”, including the need for “expanding markets”. That was the day that Oliver met with five members of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association in Calgary.
Keith Stewart, a researcher with Greenpeace, obtained a Government memo through an Access to Information demand. This memo confirmed that the parties aligned on priorities at the July 5th meeting .
Stewart notes that the Government has not yet brought in the regulations for the tar sands, something that was first promised by the Conservatives in 2008. He states:
“This is an industry that has an actual environmental performance problem. But both government and industry treat it as a public relations problem … as if they can buy their way towards having a social licence.”