Tag Archives: Oil’s Deep State: How the petroleum industry undermines democracy and stops action on global warming – in Alberta

Five candidates run to lead the Green Party of Alberta

Photo: Green Party of Alberta leadership candidates Grant Neufeld, Romy Tittel, Marco Reid, Brian Deheer and James Friesen.

While the Green Party has succeeded in electing MLAs in British Columbia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, as well as MP Elizabeth May to the House of Commons, the party remains below the radar for most Albertans.

Janet Keeping Alberta Green Party

Janet Keeping

Five Albertans seeking to lead our province’s Green Party are hoping to change that.

Grant NeufeldRomy Tittel, Marco ReidJames Friesen and Brian Deheer have submitted their applications to run in the race to replace Janet Keeping, who has led the party since 2012 and announced earlier this year that she would step down. Members will select a new leader at the party’s annual general meeting in Red Deer on November 4, 2017. According to the party website, members can either vote in person at the AGM or cast their ballots online.

The party is far from the mainstream of Alberta politics on issues like the construction of oil pipelines, but it could be position to gain the votes of some environmentalist New Democrat voters dissatisfied with the Notley Government’s avid pro-pipeline advocacy and working relationship with energy industry leaders.

Somewhat ironically, a book published by former Liberal Party leader Kevin Taft, Oil’s Deep State: How the petroleum industry undermines democracy and stops action on global warming – in Alberta, and in Ottawa, could provide a savvy Green Party leader with the manifesto required to carve a small beachhead in Alberta’s political discourse.

No one expects the Greens to form government, and their potential for electing their first Alberta MLA appears to be slim, but the lack of high-stakes puts the Greens in a position to talk about certain issues – especially around the environment and development – that the mainstream parties will not touch.

The party ran candidates in 24 constituencies in the 2015 election and earned a total 7,321 votes across the province. Leadership candidate Brian Deheer had the party’s strongest showing in the last election in Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills, where he earned 2.8 percent of the vote.

More recently, Keeping earned 2.9 percent in the 2015 Calgary-Foothills by-election and Thana Boonlert earned 2 percent of the vote in the 2016 Calgary-Greenway by-election.

The Green Party’s best ever showing in a provincial election took place in 2008, when the party earned 43,222 votes, or 4.5 percent of the province-wide vote. In that election, property rights activist Joe Anglin earned 22 percent of the vote in the Lacombe-Ponoka constituency. Anglin led the party for a short period until it was dissolved in 2009 (it reformed in 2011) and was later elected as a Wildrose candidate in Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre, where he served as MLA until 2015.


The Green Party published a list of questions and answers posed to each of the five candidates:

Edmonton Best Selling Audreys Books

Oil’s Deep State by Kevin Taft continues to top Audreys Books’ Edmonton Bestsellers List

Here is the list of the top 10 fiction and non-fiction titles sold in Edmonton for the week ended October 8, 2017, compiled by Audreys Books and provided by the Book Publishers Association of Alberta.

Edmonton Non-Fiction Bestsellers

  1. Oils Deep State Kevin Taft AlbertaOil’s Deep State: How the Petroleum Industry Undermines Democracy and Slows Action on Global Warming – in Alberta, and in Ottawa  –  Kevin Taft *
  2. To Hell and Back: A Former Hells Angel’s Story of Recovery and Redemption – Joe Calendino
  3. What Happened – Hillary Rodham Clinton
  4. Trudeau’s Tango: Alberta Meets Pierre Elliott Trudeau – Darryl Raymaker * +
  5. Powered by Love: A Grandmother’s’ Movement to Ends Aids in Africa – JoAnna Henry, Ilana Landsberg-Lewis, Alexis MacDonald
  6. Lightfoot – Nicholas Jennings
  7. Runaway Wives and Rogue Feminists: The Origins of the Women’s Shelter Movement in Canada – Margo Goodhand
  8. Farm to Chef: Cooking Through the Seasons – Lynn Crawford
  9. The Vietnam War: An Intimate History – Geoffrey Ward and Ken Burns
  10. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry – Neil deGrasse Tyson

Edmonton Fiction Bestsellers

  1. This is All a Lie – Thomas Trofimuk *
  2. Slow War (Poetry) – Benjamin Hertwig
  3. Glass Houses – Louise Penny
  4. The Sun & Her Flowers (Poetry) – Rupi Kaur
  5. Bellevue Square – Michael Redhill
  6. A Legacy of Spies – John le Carré
  7. The History of Bees – Maja Lunde
  8. Manhattan Beach – Jennifer Egan
  9. Walking Through Turquoise (Poetry) – Laurie MacFayden * +
  10. A Tincture of Sunlight – Vivian Hansen * +

* Alberta Author
+ Alberta Publisher

Edmonton Best Selling Audreys Books

Oil’s Deep State by Kevin Taft tops Audreys Books’ Edmonton Bestsellers List this week

Here is the list of the top 10 fiction and non-fiction titles sold in Edmonton for the week ended October 1, 2017, compiled by Audreys Books and provided by the Book Publishers Association of Alberta.

Oils Deep State Kevin Taft AlbertaEdmonton Non-Fiction Bestsellers

  1. Oil’s Deep State: How the Petroleum Industry Undermines Democracy and Slows Action on Global Warming – in Alberta, and in Ottawa  –  Kevin Taft *
  2. The Unravelling: How our caregiving safety net came unstrung and we were left grasping at threads, struggling to plait a new one – Clem & Olivier Martini * +
  3. Runaway Wives and Rogue Feminists: The Origins of the Women’s Shelter Movement in Canada – Margo Goodhand
  4. \What Happened – Hillary Rodham Clinton
  5. The Dwindling: A Daughter’s Caregiving Journey on the Edge of Life – Janet Dunnett
  6. Finding Gobi: A Little Dog With a Very Big Heart – Dion Leonard, Craig Borlase
  7. Run, Hide, Repeat: A Memoir of a Fugitive Childhood – Pauline Dakin
  8. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind – Yuval Harari
  9. Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone – Brené Brown
  10. In Search of A Better World: A Human Rights Odyssey – Payam Akhavan

Edmonton Fiction Bestsellers

  1. Miriam’s Secret (Childrens) – Debby Waldman *
  2. This is All A Lie – Thomas Trofimuk *
  3. The Alice Network – Kate Quinn
  4. Alias Grace – Margaret Atwood
  5. Glass Houses – Louise Penny
  6. Annie Muktuk and Other Stories – Norma Dunning * +
  7. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
  8. One Brother Shy – Terry Fallis
  9. This Was a Man – Jeffrey Archer
  10. Walking Through Turquoise (Poetry) – Laurie MacFayden * +

*Alberta Author
+ Alberta Publisher

How much influence does the oil industry have over Alberta politics?

Way too much, according to author and former Edmonton-Riverview MLA Kevin Taft.

Kevin Taft

Taft takes a deep dive into the influence of big oil on the politics and policy direction of our province in his new book, Oil’s Deep State: How the petroleum industry undermines democracy and stops action on global warming – in Alberta, and in Ottawa.

As leader of the Official Opposition from 2004 to 2008, Taft had a front-row seat in the debate over raising Alberta’s natural resource royalties where it became clear that private interests had captured democratic institutions.

A democratic institution is captured when it serves a private interest over the public interest,” Taft wrote in an op-ed on AlbertaPolitics.ca.

Taft meticulously details the impact powerful forces from the oil industry had over Alberta during the long-reign of the old Progressive Conservative government and the influence it still exerts over Rachel Notley’s New Democratic Party government in the never-ending debate over oil pipelines.

There should be a ruckus in Alberta about royalties, looming costs of reclamation, and global warming. Instead there is quiet, and in democracy quiet is rarely a good sign,” Taft wrote.

It’s true.


The public is welcome to attend book launch events in Edmonton and Calgary.

Edmonton Book Launch
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Telus Centre Room 150 (111 St & 87 Ave, U of A Campus)

Calgary Book Launch
Thursday, September 28, 2017
Room EA-1031, Faculty of Arts, Mount Royal University