Canada is a ’petro state,’ thanks to heavy oil and gas lobbying: Polaris study

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – A new study reveals heavy lobbying by the oil and gas industry has far outstripped any other interest group seeking to influence the Harper government over the last four years.

The left-leaning Polaris Institute contends that the more than 2,700 meetings between oil and gas lobbyists and federal office holders since 2008 have helped turn Canada into what it calls a petro state.

The Conservative government continues to rewrite or repeal laws governing environmental assessments, navigable waterways and other measures it says are an impediment to major resource developments.

Using the lobbyist registry to track meetings, the Polaris study shows that oil and gas interests dwarfed contact by other major industry groups, including the mining industry, car makers and the forestry industry.

The study found that environmental groups were all but shut out by the Conservative government.

The reports’ authors say in a release that Canadians should be aware of the amount of lobbying by the oil and gas industry and its impact on public policy decisions.