Register Friday | July 23 | 2021

Essential Oil

A photo essay.

When the pandemic hit, many of Canada’s economic sectors were asked to halt or quickly pivot their operations. But the energy industry pushed ahead, backed by government officials. In May 2020, Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage quipped “now is a great time to be building a pipeline because you can’t have protests of more than fifteen people. Let’s get it built.” And the province did. Or at least it tried. 

Premier Jason Kenney funnelled $7.5 billion of public funds into the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, claiming it was “a solid bet” and that it could revive the province’s economy. This financial commitment ignored the possibility—now realized—that a shift in American leadership would once again shut down the project. 

Alberta is not an outlier. Ontario, like many other provinces, suspended environmental public oversight rules during the first state of emergency because, the ...

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