The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers has registered as a third party ahead of the federal election in October in order to be able to discuss energy issues, the Edmonton Journal reports—a first for Canada’s oil industry.
Registering as a party is compulsory for any group that wants to speak to the public about issues that could be linked to any of the candidates, following a change in the Canada Elections Act.
“Given that energy remains one of the top issues being discussed by political leaders, we registered as a third party to allow us to represent our members on key issues that impact the oil and natural gas industry,” CAPP media relations manager Jay Averill told the Edmonton Journal.
The party registration comes on the heels of ads by three energy majors from Alberta—Cenovus, Canadian Natural Resources and MEG Energy—addressing the public and asking it to call on politicians from all parties to give more support to the country’s energy industry. Commentators noted at the time this was a rare move for the industry, which usually addresses the public through CAPP.
The move to speak more on energy-relates topics also follows a call from Alberta Premier Jason Kenney on the industry to “significantly increase its advocacy efforts.” The call was part of the Conservative Party’s election platform.
A spokeswoman for Cenovus, however, said the ad campaign was planned before the UCP won the Alberta election and was thus unrelated to the Premier’s call for more advocacy from the industry.
After the election, Kenney continued pursuing his energy agenda, which many believe helped his party win over the NDP. The agenda involved not only supporting the industry but also going after media that, according to the new Alberta government, misrepresent the oil industry in the province. Outlets such as Politico and the National Geographic were called out for publishing factually incorrect information that presents the oil industry in a negative light.