Alberta Politics

ethical oil spokesperson refuses to answer the basic question about whether enbridge gives them cash.

Interviewed on CBC’s Power and Politics, Ethical Oil spokesperson Kathryn Marshall refused to answer the basic question about whether Enbridge is providing financial support to her group. Ms. Marshall has been ruthlessly criticizing environmental groups for their opposition to the Northern Gateway Pipeline, which Enbridge wants to build.

The interview, which you can watch above, is really something unto itself. After being repeatedly asked to answer the basic question about Enbridge, Ms. Marshall responded with a series of shakily constructed talking points and completely avoided answering the question.

The Northern Gateway Pipeline would run from Alberta to Kitimat, British Columbia. Proponents of the pipeline say it would open Canada’s wealth of oil resources to Asian markets, including China.

Opponents of the project, including many First Nations communities, point to recent oil pipeline leaks that could damage the pristine natural habitat of northern British Columbia. Opponents also point out the danger of navigating large oil tankers through the narrow and rocky Douglas Channel that leads to Kitimat.

Read more about the politics of the Ethical Oil group.

8 replies on “ethical oil spokesperson refuses to answer the basic question about whether enbridge gives them cash.”

From this interview, even a child in a senior kindergarten, would conclude that a Kathryn’s organization is funded by Embridge. It is annoyingly audacious for her to divert the a simple question without ever attempting to answer. It clearly shows that she is well trained, and with attitude she would move up Corporate ladder in no time. The great losers are the Canadians who are denied clear and concise information.

Looks like on Twitter she’s moved away from saying “that’s not the issue FOREIGNERS!” to accusing all of her critics of being sexist. Mind you some of the comments directed at her have been sexist, but most of them have not been.

What I saw was a spokesperson doing exactly what “communications” experts tell their clients to do: divert the question and stick to your key messaging (“talking points”). As a consumer of information, I think it’s phoney; but I have been in situations where I have been given similar advice, and all I can say about this video is that her performance was a bit clumsy.

Ms. Marshall seems to be a disciple of the Anne Coulter school of public debate, where half-truths and outright fabrications are repeated frequently enough to become part of the debate. Like Coulter, she should be ignored, and if the CBC is actually looking for an informed “debate”, they should look elsewhere for someone who can do more than parrot “talking points”.

The point is that while these decisions are being made through a Canadian regulatory process, the ramifications are global. There is only ONE environment on earth, and it is everyone’s concern, not just Canadians.

It boggles my mind that conservatives who accept the notion of a global economy (and use it as an excuse for inaction on a whole range of issues) are unable to grasp the notion of a global environment.

Time for industry public relations persons to be virtual or robots. They could stick to their talking points much better than humans, and never slip up, and they would be cheaper. The money saved could be donated to my savings account.

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