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“Ottawa has made a bad situation worse,” Jason Kenney told supporters gathered at the Calgary Stampede Grounds Tuesday night to celebrate his election win.
The conservative premier-elect explained the Trudeau government has made Alberta’s economy and a besieged oil industry worse by “killing two major pipelines, including Energy East.” And, now, “imposing new laws that will make it impossible to get pipelines approved in the future.”
Those explanations aren’t based on facts, but they tell you a lot about the messages you can expect to see repeated again and again during this fall’s federal election.
These are messages that need to be meticulously fact-checked and corrected, on the record, as fast as possible. And that’s where you come in: your donation today to the Election Integrity Project makes it possible for National Observer to dedicate a team of journalists and data analysts to sifting through the campaign speeches and slogans to get you the facts.
Here are the facts, for the record:
The Trudeau government rejected one coastal pipeline, the Enbridge Northern Gateway, after it was quashed by the courts due to mistakes made by the Harper government.
Jason Kenney was a minister in the Harper government.
The Energy East pipeline was never rejected. The company behind the proposal to send Alberta oil east pulled out in 2017. Without subsidies, it’s unlikely to be revived.
The Trudeau government’s new proposed federal laws do not make it impossible to build pipelines.
Why do these facts matter?
It is easy to look south of Canada’s borders to find politicians who play fast and loose with facts, and to be left uneasy about the real-world fallout.
But this is the challenge that the Election Integrity Project is taking on: misconstrued facts, when accepted, unchallenged, and repeated can justify changing the rules by which we live.
Unchecked and given wings, misleading information does not serve people who have very serious decisions to make this fall about the future of Canada and of the world.
Jason Kenney made it clear Tuesday that he wants to tear down environmental rules in Alberta and go to war with people who care about climate change.
He promised to spend millions of dollars on a war room dedicated to attacking environmentalists – he calls them “foreign-funded special interests” — and launch a public inquiry against them.
When you donate to the Election Integrity Project – whether you give $50 or $100 or even $500 – you are empowering the National Observer’s team to hold facts up to the light and hold political leaders to account.
If National Observer can raise $75,000 by May 15, you will be ensuring political leaders who have power and who seek power are listened to very carefully, and that what they say is checked against facts.
You will also be making sure online bot campaigns are exposed, donations are followed, and industry campaigns are scrutinized.
You will be funding a special series of stories dedicated to surfacing threats to Canada’s democracy.
Canada is being targeted by disinformation
The timing of the Election Integrity Project is crucial.
In Vancouver this week, a panel of experts said Canada will become a target for disinformation campaigns from malicious actors in the lead-up to the federal election this fall. And there will be efforts to seed intolerant views that can break Canadians apart and tear the country’s social fabric by exploiting issues like climate change and immigration.
You can help shed light on false claims and inaccurate spin undermining Canada's democracy. Please donate today to make the Election Integrity Project possible.