By Dwight Ford
The Calgary Hearld says, Alberta’s oil-and-gas industry initiated a board-based publicity campaign yesterday, to raise awareness of the economic benefits of energy and counter what it claims are often misleading and negative perceptions of the sector.
The effort will consist of a website, a media campaign and "town hall" style meetings, to promote the role of oil and gas in sectors such as hospitality, retail and construction.
Similar campaigns will be launched in BC and Saskatchewan at a later date.
In a speech to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce yesterday, David Collyer, the president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said the campaign is really about winning at home and creating a different kind of engagement and relationship with the three western producing provinces.
He and others also noted the contributions of oil-and-gas to other parts of the country, including Ontario and Quebec, describing the industry as the economic engine of Canada.
However, the Herald says Erin Weir, an economist with the United Steelworkers Union in Toronto questioned that statement.
He cautioned that a booming oil-and-gas sector in the West creates problems like a high dollar that hurts manufacturing in Central Canada.
In addition, he said people are concerned about environmental impacts such as greenhouse gas emissions.
He concluded, while the oil and gas industry is an important piece of the puzzle, he believes it’s going too far to say it’s the economic engine of Canada.