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Former CAPP vice-president now chief of staff to Trudeau’s natural resources minister

Natural resources minister Jim Carr and his chief of staff Janet Annesley

Natural resources minister Jim Carr and his chief of staff Janet Annesley.

There are numerous questions to be asked about natural resources minister Jim Carr’s choice of his chief of staff.

iPolitics reports, “A former vice president for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers has been chosen as the chief of staff for Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr.”

That news article adds, “Janet Annesley came to CAPP in late 2009 after a nine-year career with Shell … in roles including senior communications manager for stakeholder engagement and major projects (heavy oil), and manager for oilsands communications. …She [then] served as vice president for communications at CAPP for five years before a brief stint as CAPP’s vice president for Ottawa and eastern/Atlantic Canada. …With the proposals for the Energy East and Trans Mountain pipelines still undergoing regulatory review, Carr now has a chief of staff with a solid background in the energy sector.”

In June 2013, when Annesley would still have been at CAPP, the association forecast tar sands production rising to 3.2 million barrels per day by 2020. At that time, the Globe and Mail reported, “Even if every new pipeline is built, CAPP predicts oil companies will run out of room in fewer than 15 years, by 2026. That assumes a series of controversial projects can gain sufficient political and regulatory support for construction” including the Energy East pipeline, the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, the Northern Gateway pipeline and the Keystone XL pipeline.

With Keystone XL officially derailed and Northern Gateway most likely not to proceed, will Annesley be a strong advocate inside government for the Energy East and Trans Mountain pipelines despite their environmental consequences?

Annesley would have also been with CAPP in December 2011 when they lobbied for changes to National Energy Board Act, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the Fisheries Act, the Navigable Waters Protection Act, the Species at Risk Act, and the Migratory Birds Convention Act. By April 2012 the Harper government had introduced the C-38 omnibus bill which rewrote the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and made major changes to the Fisheries Act and the National Energy Board Act. By October 2012, the Harper government had also tabled the C-45 omnibus legislation which gutted the Navigable Waters Protection.

Is Annesley likely to be an advocate for undoing the damage CAPP lobbied for in Harper’s omnibus bills?

And according to Shell’s website, “Shell Albian Sands is the mining operation portion of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project and consists of the Muskeg River and Jackpine mines. Production from these mining and extraction operations accounts for 17 per cent of Canada’s total oil production.”

Given her nine years at Shell, including her time as their manager for tar sands communications, is Annesley likely to support the scientific finding that 85 per cent of tar sands bitumen needs to stay in the ground to keep the planet’s temperature from increasing above the critical 2 degrees Celsius limit?

As for Trudeau’s minister of natural resources, Carr was previously the Chief Executive Officer of the Business Council of Manitoba for fifteen years before becoming a Liberal MP and cabinet minister. As noted on their website, “Chief Executive Officers of leading Manitoba companies believe there is a need for business leaders to speak out on major policy issues facing our province. In 1998, they formed the Business Council of Manitoba. The Council has recruited leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to Manitoba’s economic growth and community development.”

It would appear that Carr intends to continue to be a voice for business interests.

On Nov. 25, the Globe and Mail reported, “During his first visit to Calgary as minister, Jim Carr told energy executives the federal Liberal government understands the industry’s need for investment certainty, assuring them pipelines that are already under review will not have to start from scratch as regulations are updated.”

He made that promise to executives from some of the biggest oil and pipeline companies in the country including TransCanada, Kinder Morgan, Enbridge, Imperial Oil Ltd., Nexen Energy, and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.

Council of Canadians energy and climate justice campaigner Andrea Harden-Donahue has commented, “The Liberal government promised to reform the broken National Energy Board process for reviewing pipelines, including those already under review. The existing reviews for the Energy East and Trans Mountain pipelines have shown a lack of adequate aboriginal consultation, a clear democratic deficit, and a failure to evaluate climate implications.”

To tell Carr and his new chief of staff that the reviews must be halted, please add your name to our Keep your promises, Liberals: Stop pipeline reviews action alert.