Petroleum group did not break lobbying rules, says registrar

Alberta's lobbyist registrar has cleared the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers of any wrongdoing after allegations the group tried to influence government public relations strategy. "CAPP is not in breach of the act," Lobbyists Act Registrar Bradley Odsen wrote in an eight-page report tabled Monday in the legislature.

"The totality of the evidence clearly shows that CAPP is in full compliance with the requirements of the Lobbyists Act."

The allegations against CAPP were levelled in August by the Alberta Federation of Labour. In a letter to the registrar, the federation alleged that a leaked note showed the petroleum producers had sought to influence government messaging about fracking and shale gas development. It added that three government departments and Alberta's Energy Resources Conservation Board reviewed the organization's request. It also claimed three lobbyists representing CAPP were not listed in the lobbyist registry under CAPP's filing, though all three were registered lobbyists for their employers, which included Encana, Canadian Natural Resources Limited and Shell Canada Limited.

Odsen ruled that "collaboration to enhance public communication" is not lobbying.

Calgary Herald, Tues Nov 29 2011
Byline: Karen Kleiss

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