Canadian government says it has no intention of taking on the oil industry
Canada’s federal government said Wednesday it has “no intention” of taking over the oil and gas industry and instead intends to focus on other priorities.
The statement by Environment Minister Catherine McKenna was in response to a Globe and Mail report that she had met with a senior official from the United States oil company Shell to discuss possible action in the sector.
McKenna, who also chairs the cabinet’s energy and environmental committee, was asked in an interview on CBC News Network’s Power & Politics whether her government was planning to intervene in the oil sector, and she said, “No.”
McKennedy did not respond to a request for comment.
But the Globe and Press obtained an internal Shell memo dated March 31, 2017, in which the federal government’s environment minister met with Shell CEO Darren Woods, who was asked about possible new rules and measures.
The memo, written by a senior adviser to the minister, said that Shell’s chief executive, John Browne, had spoken with McKenna about a “potential role for the federal department” to take over the industry.
The federal government is under pressure from environmentalists and other stakeholders to take action to help Canada’s oil and natural gas industry, as well as the rest of the oil sands.
The oil industry has faced a wave of job losses in recent years, and has also struggled to maintain a foothold in a market that has seen a sharp decline in oil prices and a surge in domestic demand.
McMillennedy, who has also said she will introduce legislation in the fall to tackle the oil-sands industry’s challenges, said Wednesday that the government had not taken any new steps in the energy sector in the past six months.
“The government has a number of priorities that we’re focused on in the coming weeks,” she said.
The Globe and Post has previously reported that Shell has been lobbying the federal and provincial governments to step up efforts to fight the oil spill.
McKinsey also reiterated her intention to introduce legislation to rein in Canada’s energy sector.
She told Power & Pol that the bill would give Canadian families more certainty in the supply of energy, and ensure that Canadians have a greater say in the decisions that affect their lives.
“This bill is to ensure that the oil that is used to produce energy in our economy is not being used to fuel the fires of the fossil fuel industry,” McKenna said in the interview.
McGowan is one of three cabinet ministers who met with Woods last week in the United Kingdom.
She has called for the government to crack down on the industry and for a moratorium on new drilling.
The minister’s meeting with Woods comes after the minister said last week that the Canadian government “couldn’t be more proud” of its record on protecting the environment.