Unclear whether inquiry’s report into Alberta oil and gas foes will meet deadline

CALGARY — A spokesman for Alberta’s inquiry into the funding of oil and gas industry critics is not confirming whether its report will be handed in by its Sunday deadline. 

Alan Boras says there will be an update when there is information to share and that commissioner Steve Allan’s work is ongoing. 

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and his United Conservative government contend foreign interest have long been bankrolling campaigns against fossil fuel development in the province. 

Allan, a forensic accountant, was tapped to lead the $2.5-million public inquiry in 2019. 

Allan’s report was initially due last July but was given two extensions and a $1-million budget increase.

Energy Minister Sonya Savage must publish the final report within 90 days of receiving it.

Environmental law group Ecojustice filed a lawsuit in November 2019 alleging the inquiry is politically motivated, biased and outside provincial jurisdiction. Late last year, it lost a court bid to have Allan’s work paused until there is a ruling on its case. 

Eleven groups and individuals were granted standing to be a “participant for commentary” before the inquiry, but Boras said their identities are not being disclosed.

Participants were provided a list of reading material, including reports commissioned by the inquiry, that critics have slammed for denying or downplaying human-caused climate change. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 29, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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