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8/12/15

Canadian Government-Funded Secret Tar Sands Advocacy Worth Millions - by Aditya Tejas

The Canadian government spent millions of dollars on advocacy for extracting petroleum deposits from tar sands, a media report said Wednesday. Canada has one of the world’s largest oil reserves, behind only Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, but 97 percent of its reserves are in the form of tar sands.

The ruling Conservative Party’s 2013 budget included $30 million over two years that were spent on public relations and outreach activities to promote Alberta’s tar sands. The spending was revealed in documents found in a July 2014 policy binder acquired by the Guardian.

The outreach activities, which were never disclosed to the public, reportedly included provisions to “advance energy literacy amongst BC First Nations communities.”

The administration of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has focused strongly on trying to send tar sands to the British Columbia coast through two pipelines, Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan. These pipelines have faced stiff opposition from members of Canada’s First Nations communities due to environmental and economic concerns.

The documents reportedly reveal that some outreach activities focused on overseas measures, including efforts to block a European environmental measure -- the EU Fuel Quality Directive -- that would have hurt tar sands exports.

Read more: Canadian Government-Funded Secret Tar Sands Advocacy Worth Millions: Report

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