October 31st, 2020

Cold War McCarthyism alive and well in Alberta

By Letter to the Editor on January 15, 2020.

During the late 1940s and early 1950s as the Cold War was beginning, Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin began investigations regarding un-American activities. He was convinced that communists had infiltrated the United States government and other American institutions. He generally stirred up fears among Americans warning them that their way of life and well-being was under siege.

Of course, that proved to be unfounded, but the phrase McCarthysim has remained. Today the term broadly means to use reckless, unsubstantiated accusations, and attacks on the character and patriotism of political opponents.

This brings me to the unveiling of Alberta’s War Room, officially known as the Canadian Energy Centre. (That, to me, is a misnomer since it’s neither Canadian nor is it about Canada; it’s just a propaganda arm of the provincial government.) Its mandate, according to their website, “is to raise understanding of the Canadian energy sector’s value to this country and the world, through the sharing of knowledge, facts, and ideas.” This, supposedly, should let everyone know that Alberta energy can make the world a better place.

To achieve that goal the centre will publish, post and share articles promoting essentially Alberta’s hydrocarbon energy industry. One of the other goals is to identify individuals, organizations and countries that are using all sorts of tactics to discredit Alberta’s energy sector. These groups, according to the provincial government, want to keep Alberta landlocked and hinder Alberta’s energy resources from being sold abroad. Like Senator McCarthy, Premier Jason Kenney and the ruling UCP are convinced that there are evil forces at work whose main goal is to destroy Alberta.

It will be interesting to see how this pans out in the long run but I suspect that not much will come out of it. And at $30 million per year, that’s a costly undertaking. I worry, too, that the principles of McCarthyism will be applied; that is to say that the Canadian Energy Centre will be on the lookout for un-Albertan activities and activists. Anyone who expresses a concern or an opposition regarding the fossil-fuel energy industry will be deemed as being un-Albertan. They’ll try to blame everyone else for Alberta’s current woes when in reality the only ones that should be blamed are the succession of Conservative governments (40 plus years, and counting). They didn’t realize that eventually we would arrive at this point, and they failed miserably to prepare Alberta for a changing world.

Silvio Mantello


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Whether the energy centre is the best way to tackle decades of misinformation and outright lies about the energy industry by environmental groups and US liberal foundations may be debatable, however, relating defence of, and rebuttal of of such cases claims can hardly be termed McCarthism.
The Alberta government has every right to defend an industry that has provided many highly compensated jobs, at a time when the industry is in survival mode, naysayers notwithstanding.


zulu1 – Let’s please have a list of SPECIFIC “outright lies” about the enegy industry, so that SPECIFIC rebuttals may be forthcoming . . . we liberals are challenging you . . .

RJ Pisko


Mantello’s clumsy equation of Jason Kenney with Sen. Joe McCarthy is worsened by the fact that McCarthy was basically right about Communist infiltrators within US institutions. It takes historical ignorance to claim “that proved to be unfounded” 25 years after the Venona Cables were declassified. They established that if anything, McCarthy underestimated how bad the problem was. Does Jason Kenney have a full picture of the influences arrayed against Alberta oil yet? One hopes the Canadian Energy Centre will prove itself, and be able to tell.

Keeping Alberta oil in the ground is a stated intention of ecology religion, as expressed in 2011 by 350.org founder Bill McKibben. His declaration was carried in the Globe and Mail: “Just as the planet’s physical stability depends on Brazil’s guarding its rain forest, so it depends on Canada’s keeping that carbon in the ground.”

What could better explain the activities of Tzeporah Berman, recipient of a $2 million dollar payout from the Rockefellers for lobbying insurers to stop funding Alberta’s petroleum infrastructure?

Make no mistake, our industry is under assault. We should defend it.


Time to start a defence of big tobacco too, under assault by rich, communist, health nuts.

Tris Pargeter

Good analogy!
But remember, now there’s “vaping.” Never underestimate the wild success of and the tireless zeal FOR “rebranding.” We’re all currently at the mercy of the full-on juvenile male, but weirdly, with a comb-over.
And the government hems and haws about what to do, to be “fair,” with the bona fide vaping “business.”
The conservative narrative has clearly wormed its way in deep by going “rogue” and being “bold” on all fronts via bald-faced lying, accusing others of doing exactly what they themselves are doing as a distraction, breaking rules, and shamelessly preying on every single human weakness in order to win are all standard behaviours now.
Apparently Mark Zuckerberg has considered politics, and you don’t have to wonder which side he would choose.
I have seen this “war room” as simply a front for denial of climate change, but good point about money laundering. Of course! Fooled again, thinking there’s a LIMIT to what the United Christian Party will do to spread their gospel.

diplomacy works

The purpose of the War Room is to silence critics of oil and gas.

It’s completely run by the government of Jason Kenney which is in turn, completely captive to oil and gas.

It’s actually worse than McCarthyism since that was a one man/party crusade, the War Room, funded with $30 million A YEAR, is fully and completely a priority of the UCP.

As an aside – no way the war room costs that. Is Kenney laundering money through the War Room? We can’t know because it has been set up in such a way that Freedom of Information requests are denied.


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