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RICK BELL: Kenney set to probe anti-oilsands foreign dough


The rollout is expected to happen as early as Thursday in Calgary. It could be held off to next week.

At press time, the exact date is still up in the air, depending on whether the politicians decide to shut up and leave the legislature.

But make no mistake.

Premier Kenney’s United Conservative government is ready to launch a public inquiry into the foreign cash behind the long campaign against Alberta oil and the pipelines to move it.

Where the foreign money is coming from and where the foreign money is going. A fine-tooth comb probe of the whole shebang, complete with a forensic audit.

They chose to make us the whipping boy.

Vivian Krause

This foreign-funded campaign has gotten under Kenney’s skin and his feelings come to the surface when he slams these special interests stateside “leading a campaign of economic sabotage against this great province.”

Sorry, there aren’t more details. Apparently Doug Schweitzer, Kenney’s top lawman, was too busy to talk on Wednesday.

In Calgary, Vivian Krause is talking plenty in front of a business crowd who needs a little love in a world where Alberta’s oilpatch has to fight just to do business.

Krause, a self-described Vancouver treehugger, has dug through all the paperwork showing American dough going to a campaign to lock in Alberta’s oilsands without a pipeline expansion to the west coast or any coast.

Krause tells the lunch crowd we are where we are because of this campaign against what the campaigners call the tar sands.

For some in the room, this might be old hat but they listen and look at the slides and follow along into who is giving what and where.

They hear of how the anti-Alberta oilsands campaigning doesn’t stop just because “Rachel Notley did everything the activists asked for.”

They hear the question: Why are these people going after Alberta but not Texas? Why are they ganging up on Alberta?

She says Canada is an easy target. We’re apologetic softies. My words, not hers. And Canada is a very easy place to pit parts of the country against each other.

“They chose to make us the whipping boy. They could have made Texas the whipping boy. Or North Dakota. Why Alberta?”

Can you imagine if Canadian-funded special interests somehow went after Texas oil?

I’d pay to see that movie and it would not be for the faint of heart.

Yes, we hear of fake grassroots groups. We hear of charities playing politics and jiggery-pokery moves to make sure oil tankers are not allowed off the north coast of B.C.

We hear of groups determined to make investors nervous about investing here.

We hear of American special interests working to stop the Conservatives winning the federal election in the fall.

We hear of how far fewer dollars bankroll attacks on the American oilpatch than feather the nest of the so-called Tar Sands Campaign.

We are in pipeline purgatory, selling to the States at a discount. Guess who has who over the barrel?

Talking to the press Krause tells us, with all this attention given to foreign-funded attacks on Alberta oil, it really doesn’t matter where the money comes from.

“I would find this campaign just as objectionable if it was funded entirely by Canadians,” says Krause.

But people are focusing on the foreign money going to this fight against Alberta. That’s the point.

Politicians, like Kenney, go to town on this angle. Citizens get worked up over the need to investigate the foreign-funded attack on Alberta oil.

The very idea American greenbacks are funnelled to useful idiots screwing the safe transport of this province’s oil drives a lot of Albertans round the bend.

Here comes the quote that’ll snap your neck.

“It’s being dumbed down to an oversimplified talking point and it shouldn’t be,” says Krause.

What the …? Is she talking about Jason Kenney?

Krause points to Ezra Levant of The Rebel website as the author of this whole foreign-funded lingo, talking about protest groups as puppets of a foreign puppetmaster.

“I never used the words foreign-funded originally. Never. I objected to it. I don’t want to get into the name calling.”

Krause does back Kenney’s inquiry into foreign dough for anti-oilsands groups. She hopes they find a lot of answers.

And what is the mood in downtown Calgary?

At the luncheon, when Krause finishes speaking, the folks in the seats give her a standing O, happy the noontime menu provides much-needed ammo for the battles ahead.

rbell@postmedia.com

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019

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