February 25, 2024

What’s up with Alberta? The ‘battle room’ spent $22 million on pro-Alberta oil and fuel promoting final 12 months

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This story first appeared within the What’s up with Alberta? e-newsletter, a joint undertaking between the Nationwide Publish, Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald.Curated by Tyler Dawson, the Nationwide Publish’s Alberta correspondent, the What’s up with Alberta? e-newsletter is completely obtainable to subscribers of any Postmedia newspaper. It seems in subscribers’ inboxes at 5 p.m. MT Tuesday and Thursday, with the newest information, in-depth evaluation and need-to-know details about Canada’s most dynamic province. The e-newsletter attracts on the experience of veteran Postmedia columnists and a wide range of specialists, writing concerning the matters that matter to Albertans.

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Along with the story beneath, Tuesday’s version includes a report from Tyler Dawson on the stunning will increase to lease and residential costs within the Metropolis of Calgary and the way councillors are considering of tackling the issue. You’ll be able to join What’s up with Alberta? right here.

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Chances are you’ll bear in mind the power “battle room” from such information tales as Alberta vs. Netflix’s Bigfoot.

It has at all times been a little bit of a complicated beast. It was very a lot a part of former premier Jason Kenney’s 2019 election marketing campaign, however is basically unnoticed within the day-to-day rigmarole of Canadian life.

What the media has lengthy known as the “battle room,” the time period Kenney himself used recurrently, it formally has the think-tankey identify the Canadian Power Centre (CEC). It was based in 2019, with a “fast response unit” to sort out misinformation, an “power literacy unit” to teach individuals about Canadian oil and fuel, and a knowledge and analysis element to focus on buyers, researchers and policymakers.

Apart from the 2021 furor over Netflix, when the battle room declared that the made-for-streaming animated film Bigfoot Household was “brainwashing our youngsters with anti-oil and fuel propaganda,” the battle room hasn’t attracted a substantial quantity of discover.

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Though there have been additionally incidents when journalists criticized CEC workers for impersonating reporters, and when the battle room twice bumped into hassle for apparently plagiarizing its emblem.

However a narrative from The Canadian Press, primarily based upon the Canadian Power Centre’s annual report, experiences that the battle room signed a $22-million promoting deal final 12 months — a determine that’s about triple its total funding for the earlier 12 months — to spice up Alberta oil and fuel.

The wire service was unable to get a lot element concerning the marketing campaign, which was to happen within the U.S., Europe, the UK and Canada.

The CEC is partly shielded from public scrutiny as a result of it’s not topic to freedom of knowledge requests. The details about the advert marketing campaign is talked about as a imprecise expense line within the CEC’s annual report.

Probably the most detailed info comes from the American International Agent Registry, The Canadian Press experiences.

The registry exhibits the CEC spent greater than $150,000 on adverts in The Wall Road Journal, and spent $1.7 million on pro-oil and fuel promoting focused in direction of People.

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The CEC signed a contract with DDB, an promoting company, for a wide range of promoting in the USA, United Kingdom and Europe, for $5.7 million.

The Canadian Press couldn’t determine what these campaigns had been or how that cash was spent.

The CEC web site, which strongly resembles a information web site, does include some details about no less than two campaigns: the Made the Canadian Manner marketing campaign and the Canada is the Answer marketing campaign.

However these might be one thing completely different.

The New Democrats have been calling for the battle room to be defunded. Most lately, Kathleen Ganley, the occasion’s local weather critic, mentioned it must be “shut down instantly earlier than more cash is wasted embarrassing Alberta on the worldwide stage.”

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