Brian Ferguson says it’s political gain not Canada’s best interest that is prompting Justin Trudeau and Thomas Mulcair’s comments about the oil industry. To top it off the CEO of Cenovus Energy says celebrities like Desmond Tutu‘s involvement doesn’t help the debate either.
Ferguson made the comments at the 2014 TD Securities Calgary Energy Conference in Calgary. He was not alone in his criticism of the oil sands critics. Russell Girling, chief executive of TransCanada echoed Ferguson’s concerns
“We should be outraged by the misinformation about our industry and our country,” Ferguson said. “I was discouraged last month to see the political leaders of Canada’s two national federal opposition parties contributing to this polarized debate,” he said. “They said that if they were elected they would do what they could to stop the recently approved Northern Gateway pipeline project.”
He condemned what he described as the sensationalist media coverage when Archbishop Tutu recently called the oil sands “filth” before chastising the federal Liberal and NDP leaders over their opposition to the Northern Gateway pipeline to the B.C. coast.
When it comes to Nobel Prize winner Tutu. “With all due respect to this great man,” said Ferguson, “it is not helpful for people as influential as he is to make comments like this. Why would I say that? Because sensational headlines, a few provocative sound bites, polarized debate, do not lend themselves to rational conversations with context and balance.”
Girling’s comments targeted environmental activists who have labelled oil sands “a carbon bomb”. The head of TransCanada accused pipeline opponents of trying to whip up “a frenzy of fear.”