Alberta’s $30M energy war room is a cavalcade of errors, Opposition says

NDP energy critic says the Canadian Energy Centre should be shut down

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, centre, addresses attendees at a news conference to announce the launch of the Canadian Energy Centre at SAIT in Calgary, Alberta Wednesday, December 11, 2019. Energy Minister Sonya Savage (left) and Tom Olsen, Managing Director of the Canadian Energy Centre, look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Fulmes

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, centre, addresses attendees at a news conference to announce the launch of the Canadian Energy Centre at SAIT in Calgary, Alberta Wednesday, December 11, 2019. Energy Minister Sonya Savage (left) and Tom Olsen, Managing Director of the Canadian Energy Centre, look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Fulmes

The Opposition in Alberta says the government’s $30-million energy war room has been such a cavalcade of flubs and mistakes that it should be shut down.

NDP energy critic Irfan Sabir says the party’s caucus supports promoting the message of oil and gas development, but says the war room is doing more harm than good with its high-profile errors.

He says at $82,000 a day, there are much more important projects that could be funded.

The energy war room, officially known as the Canadian Energy Centre, was launched on Dec. 11 with a mandate to promote the industry and fire back in real time against what the United Conservative government deems to be misinformation.

READ MORE: Alberta premier opens war room to promote ‘truth’ about energy industry

It has been criticized for using someone else’s trademarked logo and for having staff members refer to themselves as reporters instead of government employees.

The head of the war room, Tom Olsen, has also been mocked by critics for a slip of the tongue in a TV interview in which he said the purpose of the energy centre was about “disproving true facts.”

The Canadian Press

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