Your questions, answered.
Have you seen the “Keep Canada Working” TV ads? You probably have. Alberta has spent $23 million and counting of its taxpayers’ money to make sure you did.
The cost of Alberta's pricey propaganda continues to rise.
So what’s the real story behind this pricey propaganda?
We’ve answered that, and all your other questions about this ongoing flood of Alberta advertising.
1. Who's behind "Keep Canada Working"?
Alberta’s NDP government, headed by Premier Rachel Notley, is pulling out all the stops to push through the Trans Mountain pipeline extension, including launching an expensive national propaganda campaign. This is the same pipeline that Prime Minister Trudeau bought from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion last year.
2. Will the pipeline really create thousands of good jobs, as the ads claim?
No. It will only create 90 permanent jobs. There will be more during construction, but these are only temporary. The reason oil companies like pipelines so much is they require very little labour and upkeep (especially if you don’t mind when they leak).
3. Will the pipeline actually boost Canada’s economy, as the ads claim?
Probably not. The global price of oil is low and many experts forecast further weakening thanks to oversupply in the Middle East and oversaturation in Asia. There’s no guarantee that Canada’s expensive, unrefined bitumen will even attract any buyers.
4. Will the pipeline barely increase oil tanker traffic, as the ads claim?
No. The pipeline will increase tanker traffic *sevenfold*. Alberta cherry picks the facts to make a jump from 5 to 35 oil tankers a month seem marginal. They claim traffic will only add “one oil tanker a day.” What they don’t mention is that a 700 percent increase in traffic through B.C.’s narrow channels comes with a 700 percent increase in risk.
5. Are pipelines the safest way to transport oil, as the ads claim?
No. The output from Alberta’s oil sands is called “bitumen”, which is a solid. The only way to make it flow through a pipeline is mixing it with a toxic diluent. When that mixture spills, it’s impossible to clean up. The safest way to transport solid bitumen is by rail.
6. Is Canada losing millions every day on delayed pipeline construction, as the ads claim?
No. Alberta’s claim is based on a faulty Scotiabank report that overestimated heavy oil markets and underestimated transportation costs. This miscalculation has since been comprehensively discredited, even by Alberta’s own budget plan which described “no economic benefit” to expanding the pipeline.
7. Will the pipeline reduce greenhouse gases, as the ads claim?
NO! A pipeline expansion always means expanded oil sands. And there’s nothing Green about expanding the oil sands.
8. Doesn’t Canada have truth in advertising laws? Why can these ads spread blatant lies?
We do, but the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards doesn’t apply to government paid advertising for political issues. The only check on this misinformation is you!